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Fw: [AlcorNews] Alcor News #37, April 8, 2005

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    ... From: To: Sent: Saturday, April 09, 2005 6:00 AM Subject: [AlcorNews] Alcor News #37, April 8, 2005
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      ----- Original Message -----
      From: <alcornews@...>
      To: <AlcorNews@...>
      Sent: Saturday, April 09, 2005 6:00 AM
      Subject: [AlcorNews] Alcor News #37, April 8, 2005


      ============================================================

      Alcor News Bulletin
      -----------------------------
      Number 37: April 8, 2005

      ============================================================

      This bulletin is sent via email to anyone who has requested
      it. Please do not reply to this message; the news server at
      alcornews.org does not receive email. Send any comments,
      suggestions, or complaints to the editor, Mike Perry,
      mike@.... Subscribe/unsubscribe information is at the
      end of this message. The layout of Alcor News is best viewed
      using a monospaced font such as Courier. Contents are
      copyright 2005 by Alcor Foundation but permission is granted
      to reprint any whole news item, so long as Alcor is credited
      as the source and the reprint includes our URL at
      www.alcornews.org.

      ============================================================

      Authors This Issue:

      Jennifer Chapman [JC], Diane Cremeens [DC], Tanya Jones
      [TJ], Mike Perry [MP], Joe Waynick [JW], Web Working Group
      [WWG].

      ------------------------------------------------------------

      In this issue:

      * Emergency Response System Changes
      * Medic-Alert ID Phone Numbers
      * Standby Initiated for A-2024
      * Transport Team Matters
      * Pet Cryopreservation, P-029
      * Facility Expansion Project
      * Database Enhancements
      * Website Update
      * Membership Statistics
      * Conference Postponed to 2006
      * Employment Opportunities for Medical Professionals
      * Next Board Meeting

      ------------------------------------------------------------

      Emergency Response System (ERS) Changes

      We implemented a change to our Emergency Response System.
      Some time ago, Charles Platt investigated answering services
      to take over the handling of emergency phone calls. Joe
      Waynick investigated the options, and selected Focus
      Telecommunnications, Inc. to handle our emergency lines.

      Implementation of the new ERS has required that our
      protocols change slightly, as all calls from each of our
      toll-free emergency numbers now forward to Focus. Focus has
      been given a script to follow for those calls and contact
      lists that include notifying first, the essential transport
      personnel and second, the facility staff of a pending case.

      During the past month of testing, we have received 20
      emergency call notifications; the majority were not actual
      emergencies, though a few were. (One such notification was
      for a member [A-2024] who'd had a stroke-like event that
      evening; another launched a last-minute case query.) In most
      of the calls, the caller immediately admits the situation is
      not an emergency, at which point they're instructed to
      contact Alcor on its normal business line during the hours
      of 9am to 6pm.

      In the beginning, the call service was not collecting all
      the information we requested and was also sending out
      duplicate notifications of an emergency. In the latter case,
      this required re-configuration of their software, something
      that was completed a couple weeks ago. In the former, I
      spoke with their trainers, having offered to visit and
      provide training on the script. They declined my offer, and
      trained their personnel internally. Though we still have
      some minor communication issues to resolve, the system does
      seem to be working. [TJ]

      ------------------------------------------------------------

      Medic-Alert ID Phone Numbers

      In the past, emergency and other phone numbers at Alcor have
      changed and old numbers have become inactive. It is
      important to keep the emergency numbers current on Medic
      Alert ID tags (bracelets and necktags)--a quick phone call
      to Alcor Central may one day be crucial. Accordingly, it has
      been Alcor's longstanding policy to replace old ID tags with
      new ones when phone numbers are updated. We have made
      diligent efforts to see that all members have updated tags;
      unfortunately, we are occasionally notified that an
      emergency number on an ID tag doesn't work. Our current
      emergency numbers are 800-367-2228 and (note area code) 480-
      922-9013. If the number(s) on your tag(s) do not match
      these, we apologize and you are encouraged to let us know
      about the problem immediately so we can replace your ID
      tag(s). Contact D'Bora Tarrant at Alcor: 480-905-1906 x 101
      or email her at dbora@.... [MP]

      ------------------------------------------------------------

      Standby Initiated for A-2024

      We received a call just after midnight on March 21 that one
      of our members had suffered an acute stroke and was admitted
      to the hospital for testing and observation. We'd been aware
      that the member was suffering from cancer and all treatment
      had been stopped, and we'd been keeping in contact with the
      family on his condition. We felt it necessary to launch a
      standby, once our Transport Coordinator arrived on scene to
      assess the patient. This was the first standby initiated
      under the new Comprehensive Member Standby (CMS) policy.

      Four team members were sent: one of the Florida paramedics,
      an EMT from Nevada (as part of our commitment to spreading
      the transport experience among the regions), and Bill Voice
      and I traveled from Alcor. Bill was there for five days and
      the rest of us for four before the standby stood down. The
      patient is currently in stable condition, and we are in more
      than daily contact with the family and medical professionals
      on-site.

      While we were on location, we prepared all the transport
      equipment, negotiated closely with the local funeral home,
      consulted with the nursing personnel, and discussed all
      aspects of the case with the patient and his family.
      Everyone we met was supportive of the patient's wishes. By
      the time we left, all logistical arrangements that could be
      done in advance were done. Equipment remains on site to
      facilitate a rapid deployment in the near future. [TJ]

      ------------------------------------------------------------

      Transport Team Matters

      Hara Ra and Andrea Van De Loo have resigned as northern
      California Regional Coordinators. We regret the loss of
      these team members, but intend to ensure that northern
      California retains its transport capabilities and continues
      to benefit from the improved training we are now providing.
      It is my impression that communication and collaboration are
      on the rise among Alcor and the regions, and that the
      changes in protocol thus far have begun to improve
      standardization in field procedures. Though no new northern
      California Regional Coordinator has been selected, we have
      identified a member willing to hold the kit until such time
      as a new coordinator is selected.

      Our next training session will still be held in northern
      California and is scheduled for Saturday, April 23.

      We have begun receiving the transport team member contracts
      in the mail. Given the extensive negotiations that went on
      during the drafting of these contracts, many members have
      been content to sign and return them quickly. We've heard
      some concerns about signing the contracts from members in
      the United Kingdom, due to the exclusivity clause. Team
      members in the UK are hoping that we will be able to
      complete cooperative agreements with other organizations so
      that they may participate in any cases that arise in their
      region. We will keep everyone posted as these agreements
      with other organizations develop. [TJ]

      ------------------------------------------------------------

      Pet Cryopreservation, P-029
      During this past week, we completed the cryoprotection and
      preservation of a member's cat. This was the first companion
      animal cryoprotection that Alcor has done in some time, and
      we felt it necessary to pull together capability in the new
      operating room, so as not to compromise the state of
      readiness needed in case of sudden death for one of our
      members. The cryoprotection went well, and 101% of the
      target concentration was achieved. Cooldown was completed on
      a slightly faster curve.

      We discussed collecting fracture data on the cat, but had no
      drill small enough to make burr holes for crackphone
      monitoring. In the end, we inserted the probe under the
      scalp, just to see if it would register any fractures. No
      fracture events were detected, but this data itself is
      inconclusive. [TJ]

      ------------------------------------------------------------

      Facility Upgrade Project

      We have delayed pulling the demolition permit because of
      requests for additional electrical load calculations from
      the city. In addition, the bidders needed those calculations
      to give us estimates. New load calculations have been
      completed and all bidders are expected to have their bids in
      by Tuesday. A selection will be made Wednesday or Thursday,
      the demolition permit will be pulled Thursday or Friday and
      demolition can begin the following week. This delay is not
      expected to impact our June 30th completion date. [JW]

      ------------------------------------------------------------

      Database Enhancements

      Over the past three months there have been over 135,000
      field updates to standard data entries in critical fields of
      the central database. This effort has already alerted us to
      several interesting membership recruiting patterns we intend
      to pursue that we believe will help us increase our member
      growth rate on a long-term basis. We are now focusing our
      efforts on updating the financial and medical information
      for all members. [JW]

      ------------------------------------------------------------

      Website Update

      We've recently added online forms that will transfer data
      directly into Alcor's database. The two forms currently
      being developed are an info pack request form and a tour
      request form.

      In March, a major research article on brain cryopreservation
      with high concentration glycerol (1990s cryonics technology)
      was reproduced on the site with kind permission of Mike
      Darwin:

      http://www.alcor.org/Library/html/braincryopreservation1.htm
      l

      This is accessible via the Cryobiology subsection of the
      Scientific Basis section of the Library.

      The article, reproduced from 1995 CryoCare Report, is an
      unprecedently rigorous and detailed examination of
      cryopreservation with glycerol, with stunning micrographs.
      Already this week I observed this URL used to radically
      change the cryonics opinion of a scoffing neuroscientist in
      a blog debate. Keep this URL handy for any cryonics defense!
      You can also jump more directly to the micrographs with:
      http://www.alcor.org/Library/html/braincryopreservation1.htm
      l#micrographs

      The Thomas Donaldson right-to-die case web page was also
      expanded to include much more background, including the text
      of the final court decision:

      http://www.alcor.org/Library/html/Donaldson-
      VanDeKampAbstract.html

      As always, a real-time list of new things on the site is
      available at http://www.alcor.org/whatsnew.html. [WWG]

      ------------------------------------------------------------

      Membership Statistics

      On March 31, 2005, Alcor had 730 members on its Emergency
      Responsibility List. Seven memberships were approved during
      this month, no memberships were reinstated, eight
      memberships were cancelled, and no members were
      cryopreserved. Overall, there was a net loss of one member
      this month.

      The large number of cancellations included the departure of
      four individuals who had been approved as minors. Despite
      repeated attempts, they would not sign the membership
      agreements since becoming adults. The main obstacle was
      apathy, not an objection to retaining the membership. The
      remaining cancellations were due to member request.

      At the end of this month, Alcor had 106 applicants for
      membership. A large number of applicants (35) who had been
      non-responsive for an extensive period of time were
      cancelled and three others entered the application process.

      The growth outlook for April is more optimistic; 20-30
      approvals are expected this month due to the rate increase
      deadline.

      During the month of March, 118 information packs were
      distributed. Of those, 103 were mailed, and 15 were handed
      to facility tour participants. Our average for 2005 is
      currently 81 per month, compared to 50 in 2004. [DC]

      ------------------------------------------------------------

      Conference Postponed until 2006

      The Alcor conference scheduled for August 2005 has been
      postponed until 2006. Dates and details will be released
      when conference planning resumes.

      ------------------------------------------------------------

      Employment Opportunity for Medical Professionals

      Have you ever thought about joining the Alcor team? We have
      immediate needs for licensed Paramedics, Emergency Medical
      Technicians, Registered Nurses, Lab Technicians and more to
      join our nationwide Transport Team. Participation would be
      on a contractual basis.

      You'll be given cryonics training that will enable you to
      participate in our patient rescue and transport cases.
      Licensed professionals do not have to be Alcor members to
      work with us. We welcome your expertise and interest. If
      you're interested, send your resume to: employment@...
      [JW]

      ------------------------------------------------------------

      Next Board Meeting

      The next Board meeting is scheduled for Saturday, May 1,
      2004 at 11:00 AM (MST).

      Board meetings are held on the first Saturday of the month
      at the Alcor facility (7895 East Acoma Drive in Scottsdale,
      AZ). Members and the public are encouraged to attend.

      ============================================================

      End of Alcor News bulletin #37 dated April 8, 2005.
      Distribution: 677 subscribers.

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