David Styles will be at TransVision 2010 and give a talk on: “A new development in cryonics standby, stabilisation, and transport capabilities in Europe”
Standby, stabilisation, and transport are all very important parts of human cryopreservation. The more time that elapses between cardiac arrest and cryopreservation, the more damage will occur.
Hence the importance of standby – having a team of trained personnel on hand at the patient’s bedside to begin the stabilisation process as quickly as possible. An average standby, statistically, lasts for around ten days. Three days is considered a very short standby, and twenty days is considered very long. The period during which standby is being performed can also be used for ensuring that any bureaucratic issues are foreseen and circumvented, that all paperwork is in place for the patient, before deanimation and subsequent stabilisation occur.
Stabilisation in this context refers to the following: continuation of cardiac support, insertion of medications appropriate to cryopreservation; this includes anti-coagulants, blood-thinners, vasoconstrictors, volume-increasing agents, and pH buffers, amongst others; such is followed by the replacing of the patient’s blood with a medical cryoprotectant, such that the patient may be vitrified rather than frozen, in that as little as possible freezing should be allowed to occur, even with the very low temperatures involved; firstly at dry ice temperatures, and later at liquid nitrogen temperatures. Without these arrangements, cellular degradation will have been more advanced than with them. Also, upon cooling down to very low temperatures, freezing damage is likely to occur. This causes considerable harm to the patient, deemed to be greater than any harm caused even by potentially toxic cryoprotectants. It is noted that the toxicity of these cryoprotectants can be regulated, and is also lowered at lower temperatures.
Transport is the third main element in this process, and is also an issue of critical importance. With good organisation, prior planning, and secure arrangements, a patient can be delivered at dry ice temperatures to their long term care facility within a couple of days. A period of a couple of days for total transport time is quite acceptable, and about the same time as it often takes to get a patient from one part of America to another, if they are passing state borders. Without good preparations for transport, it will be very difficult for a patient to get safely to their destination, and often unacceptable delays are incurred ranging up to weeks.
In the European Union, currently there have been little to no formal arrangements for any of this to occur. In the UK, capabilities have ranged from poor to fair over the years depending on personnel, and outside of the UK, few countries have made even that much progress. Most local cryonics support groups have been able to render only bureaucratic assistance to their members, hiring and instructing funeral directors to arrange shipping of the patient. Even in the UK, assistance has only ever been based on a voluntary mutual-assistance arrangement, and as such has never been guaranteed.
A need is evident, therefore, for a professional full-time cryonics standby, stabilisation, and transport service, throughout the European Union. This must give Europeans the care that they need prior to arrival at the long-term storage facility of their choice, and to ensure that they arrive there in the best possible condition.
To this end, an organisational solution has now been implemented. This development has rendered it such that European cryonicists may avail themselves of such a service, and thus enjoy a greatly enhanced chance of optimal cryopreservation, with what can reasonably be assumed to be better chance of earlier, safer, restoration to viability.
The Speaker – David Styles BA (hons) OPEN
David Styles is the organiser of the UK-based voluntary mutual assistance organisation for cryonics emergency standby, stabilisation, and transport services. In this position, he has laboured successfully over the past 18 months to strengthen capabilities in the UK and on the continent, and has lately been involved in a project (over the course of the last year) to create a professional Pan-European service, launching in this October.
David’s original academic background is in linguistics, holding a Bachelor’s degree with honours, but he is now pursuing further degree studies in mathematics to take his academia down a more scientific route.
David’s work background includes military service in the Parachute Regiment, from which position he also went on to be trained as a Combat Medical Technician (CMT), which has provided some transferrable skills for his later work in cryonics emergency service provision. Before switching to work in cryonics on a full time basis, David has also worked in the field of Health and Social Care, adding further practical medical background to his field of experience.