Alcor at Work Photo Gallery:
Field Equipment

Other photo gallery pages: Procedures | Facility Equipment
See also: Video Tour of Alcor Facility

THOMAS PACK: Alcor's standby/ transport teams are equipped with medications for immediate use on patients after cardiac arrest. These meds serve several purposes, including prevention of blood clots and inhibition of ischemic injury (the cellular damage which occurs during absent or inadequate blood circulation). Team members transport a full range of medications in a padded backpack of a type that is standard issue for paramedics nationwide.
PACK MODULES: The backpack opens to reveal padded, color-coded modules which can be removed rapidly in an emergency.
ANCILLARY SUPPLIES: The backpack also has side compartments for medical equipment such as nitrile gloves and face masks. A separate insulated meds pack (the yellow module in the background) fits in the center of the backpack.
INJECTABLE MEDICATIONS: The yellow insulated meds module opens to reveal injectable medications which are kept refrigerated prior to deployment.
HEPARIN: While some of Alcor's transport medications were specially formulated to inhibit ischemic injury, other meds are standard pharmaceutical items. First and most important is heparin, a powerful anticoagulant. Preventing blood clots is a vital first step, since the circulatory system must remain unobstructed for additional medications and subsequent cryoprotective perfusion.
LUCAS: In 2002 Alcor acquired this state-of-the-art LUCAS cardiopulmonary support device direct from its manufacturer in Sweden. It is shown here with a resuscitation-practice manikin in a portable ice bath. The LUCAS can be powered by compressed air, oxygen, nitrogen, or carbon dioxide gas. It applies chest compressions to circulate the blood and maintain respiration.
CARDIOPUMP: If circumstances prevent us from using the LUCAS, an Ambu CardioPump is a handheld backup device. The CardioPump is widely used in Europe but has not received FDA certification in the United States, even though its suction cup greatly increases the effectiveness of traditional CPR by enabling the user to pull up as well as push down. Fortunately, regulations permit Alcor to apply the imported CardioPump to patients after legal death has been pronounced.
PULSE OXIMETER: A pulse oximeter of this type fits over the patient's finger and indicates pulse rate and oxygen saturation of the blood. While Alcor cannot and does not intervene medically with living patients, in situations such as a home hospice we may offer patients the option of using a pulse oximeter themselves, since it does not pierce or break the skin and requires virtually no training. A steady decline in oxygen saturation often provides advance warning of cardiac arrest. After cardiac arrest, a pulse oximeter measures the effectiveness of cardiopulmonary support by continuing to measure blood oxygen levels. During good mechanical CPR, a pulse oximeter will actually acquire a pulse (concurrent with mechanical strokes) even though the heart remains stopped.

AIR-TRANSPORTABLE PERFUSION KIT (ATP): The Air-Transportable Perfusion kit (ATP) contains a pump and heat exchanger which can be deployed in the field to wash out the patient's circulatory system, substituting blood with a transport solution which cools the patient internally and provides metabolic support during transport to Alcor's facility. The transport solution, developed in the 1980s, was tested and proven in groundbreaking research involving the resuscitation of animals after more than four hours of bloodless hypothermia. Alcor helped to sponsor this research effort, which was led by Jerry Leaf and Michael Darwin of Cryovita Laboratories. The ATP case opens to reveal the pump (cylindrical object at right) and its electronic speed controller (gray box at left). In the lid of the case is a blue sterile pack containing tubing, heat exchanger, filter, and other components.
ATP: When the sterile pack is opened, it reveals a metal baseplate on which the components are mounted. A second sterile pack (blue paper package at right) contains the manifold-the tubing which is connected to the patient after a femoral cutdown and cannulation. The baseplate fits back into the lid of the ATP case. The controller is deployed wherever convenient. A separate plastic reservoir (not shown here) is used to contain ice and a submersible pump. This pump circulates icewater through the heat exchanger, which extracts heat from the perfusate before it passes through the patient.
ATP: The transport solution is air-shipped in a smaller, separate case (shown at left of photo) which contains a 20-liter plastic bladder. Using sterile technique, this is attached to the ATP immediately prior to use.
TUBING: When the manifold is unwrapped it reveals color-coded tubing to which manometers (pressure gauges) and temperature sensors can be connected. A battery-powered, handheld "DuaLogR" records temperatures automatically at preprogrammed intervals, and travels with the patient to Alcor's operating room.
TRANSPORT CASES: The complete remote standby and transport kit is packed into six large, rugged cases which can be checked as baggage on regular scheduled airlines.