Steve Harris is back, with the same old argument, regarding providing competent care providers, for cryonics patients. To me, this is nothing more than propaganda, designed to maintain the status quo, and keep those LEF dollars rolling in to people, like Harris, who sometimes attempt to provide surgical and/or perfusion training to laymen, and get paid quite handsomely for something that is, to me, a total waste of time and money.
He wants to talk about how expensive it would be to provide professionals, and holds up the example of Baldwin's contract with the perfusion group, which is yet another example of the ongoing, extremely poor, management decisions being made in cryonics. Harris is correct, the tack Baldwin took is "very VERY expensive," and it was a stupid translation of the suggestion I made, at SA, three years ago. My suggestion was that I, (an SA staff member and qualified perfusionist, being paid a typical "RUP" salary), would take call 48 weeks a year, and that we would contract with a perfusion group, to cover call, during my vacation weeks. (Ironically, the group I suggested was the very same group Baldwin contracted with, full-time.) I live very near the SA facility, and I would probably consider working with them, again, if things were different, there. At any rate, I am not the only retired perfusionist in the country, and plenty of people would love to live in this area, and have the light workload and flexibility of schedule I had, at SA. If no one is finding such a person, for SA, they are either incompetent at recruiting, or not really interested in bringing a skilled person onboard. I suspect the later, since it was my experience that I would have only been welcome there, if I was offering praise for some very foolish endeavors.
In addition, there was no need for SA to lease the centrifugal pump setup, as I understand they are, unless the price is better than building their own system, which I doubt. I wanted to totally revise the system they had, when I was there, but the previous management chose to not only ignore my suggestions for centrifugal pumps, but to purchase ridiculous industrial pumps that were difficult to control, and not meant for perfusing humans.
Finally, there was no need for those ridiculous pig-training sessions. Any perfusionist could handle allowing the blood to flow out a "Y" connector, at the beginning of the case, with just that simple instruction. To think they had to be trained, on animals, was well-beyond ignorant. I'm sure the perfusionists enjoyed being paid for those "training sessions," and had a few laughs, at SA's expense, too.
The same tack should be taken, in regard to someone to femoral cannulations. SA should bring a licensed embalmer, (or some other person capable of competently performing femoral cannulations), on staff and research the related issues, of working in other states. Embalmers earn about half as much as the average RUP, and work twice as hard, so if SA is having trouble doing that, I must believe it is simply poor management and a total lack of recruiting skills. The description of Baldwin's cannulation attempts, in the SA case report for CI-95 read like a recitation of a textbook-like description of a procedure she very-obviously was not capable of performing. (More about that, on my blog, soon.)
I believe far more than half of SA's very substantial budget goes toward supporting ?six? staff members, and a few consultants. It's insane to pay six people an average somewhere in the neighborhood of $70K/year to sit around, 40 hours a week, for a handful of cases a year, especially when NONE of them are capable of performing cannulations, or perfusion. I firmly believe that, with half of SA's budget, I could have two staff members, one capable of performing femoral cannulations, and one competent perfusionist, on staff, a couple of low-salary "gophers" to pack ice, etc., and a crew of people on call. If THEY can't do that, it's either because they don't know how, or they don't want to.
I've been acquainted with someone who runs the perfusion company SA contracted with, and I am going to post something about that situation on my blog, later this weekend, here:http://cryomedical.blogspot.com/2009/11/suspended-animations-perfusionists.html