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Our 12th patient - we have cryonized a man from Kiev

The first KrioRus patient from Kiev (but not from the Ukraine) died from stroke on May 5, 2010, at 7.40 (Moscow time). His relatives contacted us very quickly and at 8.40 we already consulted with them. To our astonishment, at 9.30 the cryoconservation initiators – the patient’s daughter and the son-in-law - solved all the problems with other relatives and confirmed their readiness to make use of the KrioRus services.

At the time, the patient was at the mortuary of the medical emergency hospital.

The client wrote a letter of autopsy refusal. By dinner time, they had already assembled all the necessary documents.

Unfortunately, at the mortuary they disapproved of the plan to cryonize the patient and were uncooperative, but by that time we already were able to remove the patient from those premises.

Our company made all the necessary arrangements with the Kiev funeral parlor “Requiem”, where they consented to assist us in this case, particularly, to transport the body to Russia post haste. By that time our Ukranian volunteer cryonics response team  had ordered ice which soon arrived, and we transported the patient under accelerated cooling to another mortuary not far from the Southern railway station.

The patient's body cooling was initiated fairly quickly, being that the temperature at the mortuary, as you know, is about 3-5° C, and 12 hours after his death his body was totally covered with the ice that had been brought there, which effectively forestalled decomposition. That a recently deceased patient was covered with a reasonable amount of common ice (no more that 100-150 kg), quickly cooled but did not freeze, because a layer of water formed between the body and ice prevented the tissue from freezing.

The local funeral parlor staff actually wanted to help us with perfusion, so Danila Medvedev immediately went to Kiev with the necessary chemical agents in sufficient amount. It seemed at the time an optimal strategy to wait for the chemicals to arrive and, as soon as Danila came, to begin perfusion.

But the situation developed alarmingly: the embalmer who previously had consented to perform the perfusion, then refused. He was afraid that he could not cope with the procedure, as he was not skillful enough in arterial embalming, a similar process to that of perfusion. For he was an expert only in abdominal embalming. He told us that he could have done the job if only somebody at least once had performed the operation in his presence or demonstrated the procedure, but hesitated to try, even with our own staff consultation remotely via Moscow..

It was unwise to seek another loyal embalmer on such short notice, and we decided to transport the patient to Moscow: soon a car with the patient covered with ice in his coffin, started out for Moscow.

It took the car 17 hours to get to Moscow – somewhat longer than we expected, as the driver had some problems approaching Moscow because of the preparation for  Victory Day.

As soon as the car arrived – it was at 12.00 on May 7- the events followed on thick and fast. Our perfusion experts demonstrated the best work as to speed and quality which I have so far witnessed in Russia.

The car arrived at 12.00, and at 12.40 the patient was already in an operating room (we had to unload ice, chemicals, to open the coffin, etc.). At 14.00 the perfusion system was already prepared for work and filled with perfusion solution and they began hooking the system up to the patient’s veins. At 14.00 perfusion procedure was initiated.

The vascular system was in a surprisingly good condition. Evidently, that was the effect of prompt and early cooling at the very beginning. That is why perfusion was completed in record quick time. As a rule, it is a rather prolonged procedure, – 6 1/2 hours. At 22.00 on May 7, after perfusion, we began cooling the patient in dry ice. Apropos, for the first time perfusion was carried out in a specially cooled room with the +1° C air temperature which also improves quality of cryoconservation.

It should be mentioned that the situation was still far from ideal, our work was complicated by the patient remote location and the absence of specialists on site, but it should be stressed that better results are usually achieved if a contract for cryoconservation is concluded in advance and a cryo company has any possibility to arrange the procedure with local experts or to train them, as well as to buy necessary equipment and chemical agents in place or to bring them. Even, as has been seen in the USA, elderly cryopatients moving house to abide nearer to the cryostorage repository towards the end of their natural lives.

Nevertheless, we are happy that one more patient has gotten a second chance for life. Moreover, we have analyzed the benefits and disadvantages of this case and are now developing a plan to improve the quality of services we render to our patients.

This patient was our 12th cryonized client and the 5th foreign citizen. Before that, we have cryonized Dutch and Estonian citizens, as well as two Ukrainians.