It dates back to 50 years ago the first man cryopreserved, James Bedford, a psychology professor in California, aged 73, suffering from cancer, which was hibernating on January 12, 1967. His body was moved in 1991 into a more technologically advanced container after only it is tested externally, at the Alcor Life Extension Foundation.
After him other 337 people have undergone this "treatment" and are stored in the three companies that now provide this service: Alcon and Cryonics, two American companies, KrioRus instead is Russian; but around the world there are agencies that offer the transport service.
In addition to patients already frozen, other 2 thousand people have signed a contract to be hibernating after death, among which there are at least eight Italians, reported by the website of Cryonics.
The hibernation process:
- First, the process needs to be implemented immediately after cardiac arrest, to stop the death of brain cells and nerves due to the absence of oxygen. In our country this is not possible because there is a law that requires 24-hour observation of the corpse.
- The body is first cooled in an ice bath to slowly reduce body temperature, to then be frozen.
- The blood is removed from the body and replaced by a cryogenic fluid, which prevents formation of ice crystals within the body, which would damage the cells.
- The bodies are then transferred to the storage company, which exist only in the United States and Russia.
- These companies put people inside a special bag called arctic sleeping bag and then are placed in large containers, where the temperature continues to drop.
At the moment, however, specify how the companies themselves on their sites, the techniques do not allow to revive the cryopreserved bodies.
Even some of our compatriot has chosen to be hibernating. Among them was the pioneer Aldo Fusciardi, who died in 2012, while the last in order of time, now cryopreserved in Russia, is Cecilia Iubei, a woman who died of Viterbo in early February of 2016.
The youngest person who had access to the technique is rather Matheryn Naovaratpong, suffering from brain tumor, that parents have to hibernate in two years.
The most expensive service is that of Alcon, asking $ 200,000 for the entire body, and 80,000 for the brain alone. Cryonics has variable rates, but all under $ 100,000, while KrioRus is much competitive with rates of $ 36,000 for the entire body, and 18,000 for the brain alone.