Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Review of Alleged Ted Williams Case Reports Printed in Johnson's Book

Someone related to Ted Williams recently asked for my remarks on the alleged case report for Ted Williams, which was printed in Larry Johnson's book. There are too many spelling and grammatical errors to make sense of much of it but, in my opinion, it clearly paints yet another very clear image of the glaring incompetency rampant in cryonics. Even laymen should be able to see the unprofessionalism in most of it. From the alleged TW case notes, published in Johnson's book:

"Mike is trying to do something on the right." (Brilliant record taking!)

"Mike needs a curving knife!" (No comment necessary.)

"Mike is trying to seal up (the tubes?)" (This person does not have a clue what she is describing, other than Alcor's incompetent staff hacking someone's head off and trying to perfuse it.)

"They are trying to open up some part on the front neck..." (More of the same.)

"...Mike murmured "We need electric curving knife..." (Maybe Mike should have been a chef.)

"The head was completely detouched." (No comment necessary.)

"Mike said lots of drainage coming out from everywhere but not from the jugular..." (If this is accurate, it seems blood was coming out from everywhere EXCEPT where it was supposed to be.)

"Brian said we are not getting any cryoprotectant in the venous. Mike back to the head." (It seems they were putting cryoprotectant in the arterial side, but it wasn't coming out the venous side, as it should.)

"Mike called Jose. Jose came back in. (It seemed to me Jose didn't complete his job.)" (How would Erico Narita know if anyone had completed a surgical task? Her notes make it quite clear she has little knowledge of the procedures and equipment. Throughout the report, I believe she uses various terms, such as "canyon," for "cannula." If Alcor assigns their note-taking to someone who has yet to master the English language, (much less applicable medical terminology), how can we even begin to trust them to assign medical tasks to the appropriate personnel?)

The pressure changes, the pump "making funny noises," Mike noticing one of the tubes is "not getting any fluid," the "reflectometer" that "had air" all seem to indicate air was pumped during the case, (something I'm told happens during most cryopreservations, a grossly negligent perfusion error that has been virtually non-existent, in conventional medicine, for decades).

"No air is coming out from the left side as well, Brian noted." (Just guessing from the phrasing, I would say "No" was supposed to be "Now." Either way, it most likely indicates that air was being pumped into, and exiting the vessels, at some point in time...a definite perfusion "no no.")

"The part of the flowrate was incorrect, because bypass line was open." (There's a bypass line that should be closed, when flowing to the patient. When the bypass line is open, a portion of the flow that is supposed to be going to the patient is being diverted to the venous (return) line, without ever reaching the patient. It's not clear when they turned on the perfusion pump, as it's not always clear as to what flows and/or pressures they are referring to, but they document starting the ramping of the cryoprotectant agent, at 22:02. No one noticed the bypass line was open, (a perfusion error), until sometime between 23:21 and 23:27, more than an hour later (79-85 minutes later). Does this seem acceptable for a company that had been in existence for approximately THREE DECADES??? Does this seem like a company that should expect people to believe they can preserve the "legally dead" well enough to be awakened in the future??? Would YOU pay THEM $150K to take perform your cryopreservation?

(The "Mike" being referred to is Michael "Mike Darwin" Federowicz.)

ABC Nightline Received False Information on Behalf of Alcor

There is a well-known story, in cryonics, about an HIV+/AIDS, patient, whose death was allegedly hastened by staff member(s) of Alcor. I've heard the story, I believe it was told in Kunzman's book, (Mothermelters). Larry Johnson told the same story, in his book, and he has audiotapes of an Alcor staff member discussing it. They played those tapes on ABC Nightline, last night. They also said someone claiming to be that patient's nurse called in, yesterday, to claim the patient died in his bedroom, with only the nurse and his partner present. I can only find one 1992 Alcor case report, in which an HIV+/AIDS, patient died, and it is very well-document BY ALCOR, that that patient died in a garage, just as Johnson and others have said.

From the Alcor Case Report for Case A-1260, in May 1992:
(Note: As per Alcor's report, "Nick" is a fictitious name.)

"The only feasible location for set-up was a garage located about 60 feet from the front door up a steep street. Considering that it took us over two minutes to move the last patient about six feet, there was concern over the ischemic time such a move would cause if Nick were pronounced in his bed.

That day, with Jim's assistance, Hugh and Keith cleaned out the garage, moved in several oxygen bottles, built a plastic enclosure large enough to hold the MALSS cart by stapling plastic sheeting to the ceiling beams, and installed 2000 watts of lighting. Typically, this would not be necessary, since most houses have at least one doorway that will admit the MALSS cart. So, while it was kind of rough and ready, the nurse who pronounced Nick when the time came commented that he had certainly seen worse set-up's used for operating rooms in Vietnam."

The logistics of moving our patient downstairs resulted in more discussion, arguments, and testing than any other aspect of the whole transport. (Mike missed this because he was in the garage priming the MALSS cart.) Keith's suggestion of using a gurney was tried with an empty gurney, but the required 70-degree angle looked so scary that nobody was willing to be a test subject. Hugh`s suggestion of a fireman's carry was ruled out because a slip on the carpeted stairs might seriously hurt both the patient and the carrier. We finally tried and settled on Carlos's proposal, with Max on one arm, Paul on the other, Hugh taking Nick's feet under his arms, and Keith holding his head. We got him downstairs without any problems (good suggestion, Carlos), onto the gurney, and (in our white Alcor lab coats) wheeled him up the street into the garage."

Judging from information on Alcor's website, this appears to be the ONLY Alcor case, in 1992, involving an HIV or AIDS patient:


A-1260 19 Mar 1992 Neuro Case Report: Alcor handles an HIV case.

A-1171 Michael Friedman 01 Jun 1992 Brain and rest of body stored separately Case Report: An Alcor member is murdered (and worse yet, shot in the head).

A-1184 19 Jun 1992 Whole Body Case Report: Lessons learned from ischemic time that could have been avoided.

A-1367 Jim Glennie 24 Jun 1992 Neuro Case Report: An unusually extensive non-technical report on a near-textbook case See also A Well-Loved Man, a personal account by Jim's wife, Mary Margaret Glennie.

A-1410 James Hourihan 27 Jul 1992 Neuro Case Report: An extended standby in Massachusetts."

Here are the people who were on the "Transport Team" when A-1260 died:
"Transport Team:

Hugh Hixon: Transport Team Leader, Surgical assistant
Mike Darwin: Oversight, Consultant, Femoral Cutdown
Arel Lucas: Airway Management, Temperature Probe Placement
Tanya Jones, Medications, Scribe
Max More: Scribe, Airway Relief
Paul Wakfer: Logistics Support, Airway Relief, MALSS Monitoring
Carlos Mondragon, Film and Video Recording
Leonard Zubkoff: HLR Operator, Oxygen Supplies Management
Keith Henson, Carpenter Assistant, O.R. Nurse, MALSS Monitoring"

I suggest Nightline tracks down the person who claims to have been the nurse present when the AIDS patient died, with his partner, in his bedroom, and verify the situation, because it seems, to me, that Alcor's only HIV or AIDS patient that died in 1992, died in a garage. Nightline might also use the photos in Alcor's case report, to attempt to verify the location. (There are copies of the case report, in case it disappears from the Internet.)