James Bedford: The First "Cryonaut"

I can't believe we almost missed this: on January 12, 1967, University of California psychology professor James Bedford became the first man to be cryogenically frozen:

As the first man to be preserved, the bill was paid by the Life Extension Society. He also earned the awesome title of “cryonaut,” the term given to cryogenically preserved individuals. (Source: The Retro Blog)

Alcor Life Extension Foundation, a company that will freeze your body for a fee, has a fascinating account of the freezing of Dr. James Bedford:

The Cryonics Society of California "suspension team" was woefully unprepared. From testimony taken from Nelson and Robert Prehoda it appears that your "perfusion," so glowingly detailed to the news media, consisted of multiple injections with either pure DMSO or a DMSO-containing solution of a composition which was unknown to Nelson. (Prehoda recalls that pure DMSO from Matheson Scientific was employed). Attempts were made to introduce the cryoprotectant into your carotid arteries bilaterally and to circulate it by performing manual chest compressions coupled with bag-valve respirator ventilations. According to Nelson, within approximately two hours of your deanimation you were transferred to a foam-insulated box, still wrapped in the bed sheet on which you deanimated (with some crushed water ice still on you) and covered over with one-inch-thick slabs of dry ice.


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The TAL story deals briefly with the freezing of James Bedford. It's all about Bob Nelson, who performed Bedford's suspension, and the rise and disastrous fall of the Cryonics Society of California:

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Humanity is amazing. Somehow most of our modern inventions have come within the last 100 years. Our ability to understand that if you freeze a human, they will die, still seems lost on many.
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this american life had a GREAT piece on a cryo clinic that went out of business, and how they tried to keep the bodies cold (with limited success). you can stream it free on their website.
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I am guessing that because he was still wrapped in the bed sheet and then dry ice was placed on the body. He suffered from severe freezer burn.
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