Cold com­fort

JONATHAN GOR­DON

World of Knowledge (Australia) - - Letters -

What a chill­ing ar­ti­cle on cry­onic preser­va­tion last month (‘Waking The Dead’, Au­gust). I can’t say I un­der­stand why some­body would want to pay thou­sands to have their corpse frozen after death, but the fea­ture of­fered re­ally in­ter­est­ing in­sights into the process. I won­dered if there are back-up power gen­er­a­tors in place in the event of a power cut at a cry­on­ics fa­cil­ity? You’d hope so, given how much money these peo­ple in­vest in the process.

Al­though most plants have back-up gen­er­a­tors in place, it would take weeks for liq­uid ni­tro­gen to boil off and the firms also keep ex­tra in re­serve. To en­sure as much pro­tec­tion as pos­si­ble, whole-body pa­tients are hung up­side-down from their feet so that the head would be the last part of the body to de­frost in the event of a power fail­ure. To date, no cry­on­ics pa­tient has ever thawed as a re­sult of power fail­ure.

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