[SaneVax: Despite all security precautions, 150 brains being stored at McLean Hospital’s Harvard Brain Tissue Resource Center for autism research were destroyed due to a freezer malfunction. This facility has a 35-year history of storing such samples without any prior similar incidence. This tragedy could set autism research back a decade.
Is it not just a little unusual that the complicated chain of events needed to complete the destruction of this priceless collection of medical research samples occurred shortly after the CDC admitted to an autism rate of 1 in 88?]
Autism Brain Freezer Malfunction: “The Perfect Storm” or “An Unfortunate Series of Events?”
By Jennifer Hutchinson
Last week we all heard the announcement that many vaccines are being stored at the wrong temperature, rendering them less effective, if not useless. This week’s story is the freezer malfunction that destroyed a third of the world’s largest collection of autism brains, putting a huge damper on research.
Here are the facts as I understand them from the organizations and individuals involved, as well as media reports. (The quantities of the brains vary slightly, depending on the source.)
On May 31, the assistant director at McLean Hospital’s Harvard Brain Tissue Resource Center (HBTRC) discovered 150 thawed, decayed brains in one of the center’s freezers. Fifty-four of the brains were from children and young adults with autism.
The freezer has two separate alarm systems. One goes off when the temperature drops. The other alarm “calls” five staff members on their cell phones, one after another.
The freezer room is locked.
There are two keys to the room.
There is a surveillance camera in the room.
The freezer is checked twice a day to ensure that the temperature stays at approximately −80 degrees Celsius. The temperature on May 31 was 7 degrees.
In April, all the brain samples, which were normally distributed among several freezers in case of an equipment malfunction, were moved to one freezer in preparation for a visit from Autism Speaks Autism Tissue Program (ATP) staff. Upon completion of the research, the samples were supposed to be redistributed among the other freezers. However, the staff at the center became busy with other work and didn’t have time to do this.
Excellent article, well formulated and posing relevant questions.
In a hospital where I worked some years ago sterile fluids (vaccines, injections, infusions etc) were stored in refrigeration rooms.
There was a storage temperature control system which was not very expensive to maintain and which functioned optimally.
Thermal feelers there were connected to graph-drawing systems which registered and continuously drew graphs with temperature variations.
The graphs were inspected several times day and at night by those on night duty, those responsible signing their names. Irregularities were noted and reported immediately.
So what is the possible difference between the control of temperature for the brain material in the McLean Hospital’s Harvard Brain Tissue Resource Center and our temperature control of sterile fluids?
Is it that we were more professional and that we cared more?
Or is it that we had no conflicts of interest?