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Funeral Directors’ Dry Ice Guidelines

Funeral Directors' Dry Ice Guidelines

The Cryonics Institute will not accept shipment in less than two weeks of a person who has not made cryopreservation arrangements prior to the time of legal death. The Cryonics Institute must have full payment of $35,000 and fully-approved contracts before shipment to the Cryonics Institute can be arranged. "Approved contracts" mean that the person(s) signing the contracts have full legal authority. Most often the prospective post-mortem cryonics patient is a parent, and agreement among the parent's children must be obtained before "approved contracts" can be executed.

As soon as possible after legal death the prospective cryonics patient should be stored with dry ice to minimize decomposition of tissue during the minimum two-week period during which financial and legal arrangements are made for shipment to the Cryonics Institute. If the family of the cryonics patient wishes to have the patient perfused with a glycerol solution (to reduce ice formation), the perfusion will be the responsibility of the funeral director. Glycerol solution can purchased from the Cryonics Institute, but to avoid delays and reduce expense the glycerol solutions can be made locally using information from the Glycerol Perfusion Solution webpage on the CI website. Most post-mortem sign-up patients stored on dry ice have not been perfused with glycerol, so funeral directors should not feel that they must do a glycerol perfusion in order to store a cryonics patient on dry ice.

The patient should be placed in a well-insulated box for storage in dry ice. The patient should be flat on his or her back rather than curled and lying on a side. The bottom, sides and top of the box should be lined with insulation, preferably foam-board insulation, although fiber insulation can be used as well. Such insulation should be easy to obtain from a Home Depot, Lowe's or hardware store. The box should be large enough to contain the patient, the insulation and at least 200 pounds of dry ice. Wrapping the patient in a sheet not only has cosmetic value, but it can assist in handling of the patient.

The yellow pages of most metropolitan phone books generally have a separate entry for "Dry Ice", listing vendors supplying dry ice. Otherwise, local ice cream shops will often be able to supply phone numbers of dry ice suppliers — or the phone numbers of their suppliers of ice cream, who use dry ice for storage. Dry ice supplies can also be found on the internet by entering your own address into MapQuest and Google Maps (try both) and selecting "Search Nearby" for "dry ice" (use quotes).

Only after at least two weeks on dry ice, and only after payment and approved contracts have been received by the Cryonics Institute will the funeral director holding the patient on dry ice be given instructions for shipment to the funeral director of the Cryonics Institute. See Shipping of Cryonics Patients for details about shipping requirements.


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