Do you know what is the most common phobia each and every creature has? It’s Thanatophobia is commonly referred to as the fear of death.

More specifically, it can be a fear of death or a fear of the dying process. It’s natural for someone to worry about their own health as they
age.

FEAR of DEATH, FEAR in LIFE: The PARADOX of THANATOPHOBIA

Can we cheat our death?

Cryonics

Cryonics (from Greek: kryos meaning ‘cold’) is the low-temperature freezing (usually at −196 °C or −320.8 °F or 77.1 K) and the scientific advances may allow them to be revived in the future.

It may sound like science fiction but it is based on modern science. Though there was no practical evidence, it has a very detailed theoretical explanation and scientists are working on it.

Purpose of cryonics

The purpose of cryonics is to save the lives of living people, not inter the bodies of dead people.

Imagine a person was dead due to a brain tumor. If medicine was discovered for brain tumor after 100 years, he may be revived after 100 years by giving this medicine.

When was Cryonics invented?

By 1845, Faraday had managed to liquefy most permanent gases then known to exist. Cryogenics developed in the nineteenth century as a result of efforts by scientists to liquefy the permanent gases.

Cost of Cryonics

As of 2011, U.S. cryopreservation costs can range from $28,000 to $200,000. As it is costlier, common people can’t afford it.

Is it possible to revive?

Initially, when I came across it I thought it was just a belief and it is not possible. Because I thought if our soul leaves our body it will never return. But this theory proved me wrong.

Many organisms like vinegar eel and few human organs like brain tissues, heart were cryogenically preserved by nitrogen gas, which ceases decaying and they are revived. By increasing the number of cells, tissue and organs are reversibly cryopreserved.

The repair capabilities of nanotechnology and molecular biology give hope to the future that they can revive organisms which have died due to ageing and diseases.

Current progress in stem cell tissue regeneration, 3D biological printers and other advanced technologies convinces many experts that we might be able to revive people in a healthy and youthful state when these technologies mature.

Cryonics procedure

Pretreatment

Time is an essence for effective cryopreservation. If a patient is near death, the Cryonics Institute should be notified immediately at 1-586-791-5961 and kept updated of any changes.

The patient has to relocate themselves to Michigan, near Cryonics Institute before death occurs. Delay in transfer can be avoided in this way.

Step1
Initial Cool-down and Transport.

If a patient is near death, CI members will be standing by their side if possible. Such a team can start the rapid cool down process and other procedures once the heart stops beating.

The patient should then be cooled immediately, especially the head, by application of ice. A slurry of ice water can cool much faster than ice cubes alone, so an inflatable basin for giving shampoos can be filled with ice and water to cool the head.

Even better would be cooling the entire body of the patient in a body bag filled with ice water. The best scenario is for the patient to die at home under hospice care, with trained personnel — morticians or Cryonics Institute (CI) volunteers –on hand. (No guarantee is made that CI volunteers can be found.)

An anticoagulant should be injected to prevent the blood from clotting, which will help to improve the patient’s perfusion. When using the anticoagulant, Heparin, a dose of 30,000 units is given for patients weighing up to 200 lbs and a dose of 40,000 units is given for patients weighing 200 lbs. or more.

Once the heparin is injected, Cardiopulmonary Support (CPS) (chest compressions) is required for at least 5 minutes to circulate the heparin throughout the body.

Cryonics UK

Perfusion is the passage of fluid through the circulatory system or lymphatic system to an organ or a tissue.

The patient’s blood is removed as CryoProtectant Agents (CPAs, substances that prevent ice formation) are introduced to replace the patient’s blood and body water, a process known as “Perfusion”.

The cryoprotectant used by CI is called CI-VM-1.The perfusion with vitrification solution is done at increasing concentrations, until a target concentration of 70% CI-VM-1 is reached.

The patient is kept cold through the process, as the lower concentration CPAs are stored and introduced at refrigerator temperature.

The 70% CI-VM-1 has been stored in a freezer, so it is below freezing temperature. Thermocouples are placed in the nasopharynx for monitoring the patient’s brain core temperature through the perfusion.

To protect the integrity of the vascular system and ensure a successful perfusion, the pressure and speed at which the cryoprotectant is introduced into the patient is monitored very carefully.

When the perfusion is complete, the patient is then sheathed with a lightweight cover for dignity and placed in an insulation pouch before being moved from the operating table to a stretcher where they are secured to a backboard for support.

The stretcher is used to transport the patient from the perfusion room to the computer controlled cooling unit, inside the CI facility.

Procedure 3 – Further Cool-Down and Storage

The patient is carefully placed in the cooling unit on their backboard. The insulation pouch is opened slightly to allow for consistent cooling. The appropriate program is selected to steadily cool the patient to liquid nitrogen temperature. The process of cooling the patient to -196c takes five and a half days.

The cooling is done by CI’s computer-controlled cooling unit. The computer-controlled cooling unit constantly monitors the temperature inside the cooling unit via a thermocouple.

At the end of the cooling process, the patient is carefully removed from the cooling unit and the insulation pouch is closed. Then ID tags are attached to the patient for identification purposes. Once the id tag is placed, the patient is ready to be transferred to the cryostat (long term storage unit). The patient transfer is done quickly.

While the insulation pouch is saturated with nitrogen, so there is no appreciable warm-up during transfer. The ropes that are attached to the patient’s backboard are secured to an electric lift and the patient is safely lowered into the cryostat.

Cryostat liquid nitrogen levels are monitored daily to ensure the safety of the patients. CI staff adds liquid nitrogen from the facility’s bulk tank to the cryostats when needed.

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Student of Panimalar Institute of Technology

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