The American Cryonics Society (ACS) generally avoids publishing comparisons between cryonics organizations.  Instead, we prefer to simply point out the features of our own program.  However, our friends at the Cryonics Institute (CI) have a comparison page on their website that requires some clarification.


Here is a link to the CI comparison page entitled: “Comparing Procedures and Policies.”  CI President Ben Best is the author of this text and produced the accompanying charts.  


The topic title below refers directly to the topic titles used on the CI comparison page, and we have added subtopics for clarity.  In reading through the CI comparison please consider the following:


1.     Because of the contracts and agreements between the American Cryonics Society and the Cryonics Institute, advantages of the CI program are also advantages of the American Cryonics Society’s program.   American Cryonics Society patients in long-term liquid nitrogen cold care at the CI facility have “dual membership” which means they have all the positive features that come from both CI membership and American Cryonics Society membership.


2.     Additional safety measures only for American Cryonics Society members in long-term cryogenic cold care at the CI facility include: A) yearly CI facility inspection and published inspection reports by ACS; B) patient funds managed apart from those under the control of CI.  These funds are in addition to those held by CI.


Cryonics Services Offered


Responsibility for Field Services

The CI website is correct in stating that, like CI members, American Cryonics Society members have the services of the South Florida based company Suspended Animation, Inc. for standby and field preparation. However, the arrangement for obtaining Suspended Animation Inc’s services differs significantly between CI and the American Cryonics Society.


CI members contract directly with Suspended Animation, Inc.  That is, CI members make their own arrangements including providing funding directly to Suspended Animation.  Suspended Animation then assumes total responsibility and control for the field services of the member.  


As an option, the American Cryonics Society allows its individual members to make such direct arrangements with Suspended Animation, similar to the CI arrangements.   However, the American Cryonics Society also contracts directly with Suspended Animation so that ACS as a company has responsibility and control of standby and initial suspension services.   Although Suspended Animation is a fine and highly reliable company, there are circumstances where calling on other service providers or making use of ACS’s own resources may be a better choice.  We are loath to turn over this important responsibility totally to a for-profit contractor no matter how honest and reliable we deem that contractor to be.


Standby/Transport and Field Washout

The CI Website defines Standby/Transport as follows:

“Standby/Transport involves standing by the bedside of a medically terminal patient destined to be cryopreserved, the application of a heart-lung resuscitator and ice-water cooling as soon as possible after declaration of death, and transport to a perfusion facility while tissues are still being stabilized at low temperature.”


Under some circumstances, shortly after the pronouncement of death, cryonics technicians stationed at the patient’s bedside are able to cannulate major arteries and veins so that the patient’s blood can be circulated and cooled by means of a mechanical pump.  After initial cooling, the blood is washed out and replaced by a balanced salt solution. (seeA Time Travel Guide for the Cryonaut”).  This procedure is sometimes called Field Washout.  Such a procedure allows for rapid, initial cooling of the patient. The American Cryonics Society considers Field Washout an important part of the Standby/Transport procedure and employs it when it is appropriate to do so.





American Cryonics Society Suspensions other than through Suspended Animation, Inc. (SA)


Our contract with Florida based Suspended Animation, Inc. allows us to call on that company which also has a base of operation in Southern California.  Suspended Animation, Inc. has equipment and personnel for either ground or air deployment anywhere in the US. 


In addition to what is available to us from SA, the American Cryonics Society (ACS) has equipment, contractors and volunteers for Field Services, including Standby.  We are based in the San Francisco Bay Area and the equipment and supplies for suspensions are stationed in the South Bay.  We have equipment packed as traveling kits for rapid deployment elsewhere in the US.


Providing service outside the US is possible, but the assistance of volunteers in the country where the subject deanimates is highly desirable.


How “sophisticated” any particular suspension is, regardless of whether it is performed by Suspended Animation, Inc. or by an American Cryonics Society team, is highly dependent upon the conditions of death and how soon a team can be deployed to the member’s location.  For the “Standby/Transport” service described on the CI website, either an ACS or SA team is equally qualified. 


Field Washout, when possible and desirable, is best performed when a team is on standby at the location well in advance of the member being pronounced as legally dead.  With either a SA team or an ACS team, the ability and competence (“sophistication”?) applied to a field washout is highly dependent upon that of the individuals being deployed, which in turn depends upon their availability at the time.  Both SA and ACS call on the most experienced and best trained individuals available.  Such people are in high demand and often are engaged in full-time employment at research facilities or hospitals. Having both the SA and ACS pool of specialists to call on enhances the chances that qualified people will be available. SA does not generally engage in very long standbys. Under circumstances that require an extended standby, an ACS team may assume this responsibility.