How to Improve Field Cryonics

I just read this ar­ti­cle (which is well worth read­ing for any­one in­ter­ested in cry­on­ics). One of the im­por­tant things that the ar­ti­cle points out is that, while it takes some time for the mem­ory struc­tures of the brain to de­grade due to is­chemia, one of the more rapid effects is blood clot­ting in the fine cap­il­laries of the brain af­ter fairly brief is­chemia. This re­duces the flow of cry­opro­tec­tant, and causes large swathes of neu­ral tis­sue to be frozen, in­stead of vit­rified, which would be catas­trophic for per­sonal iden­tity. While this is not a prob­lem for best-case ‘standby’ cry­on­ics, it is a prob­lem for those who can­not af­ford a standby team, or are sim­ply hit by cars.

Be­ing an en­g­ineer, my first thought is that this is ridicu­lous, and there has to be a bet­ter solu­tion to the prob­lem. It may be pos­si­ble to build a de­vice, maybe the size of a shoe box, which can be de­ployed in the field by a min­i­mally-trained am­a­teur (like a defibrilla­tor), and per­fuses the brain with cold sal­ine and anti-co­ag­u­lants—or even a syn­thetic oxy­gen car­rier). I’m pic­tur­ing a cylin­der of fluid, large nee­dles with ster­il­iz­ing caps for tap­ping the jugu­lar and carotid ar­ter­ies, and a gas cylin­der to provide pres­sure. You’d sim­ply break a chem­i­cal cold pack, put a plas­tic neck brace in place and in­sert the nee­dles, and press a but­ton.

Such a de­vice could even be use­ful to non-cry­on­i­cists, as a way to pre­vent is­chemic in­jury in peo­ple found med­i­cally dead at the scene of an ac­ci­dent, dur­ing trans­port to the hos­pi­tal.

Does any­one with more of a med­i­cal back­ground know if such a ma­chine would be at all fea­si­ble? I can’t imag­ine it would be ex­pen­sive to con­struct.