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Determination of and Difficulties with Brain Death

  • James W. Bales
  • Louis J. KimEmail author
Chapter

Abstract

Brain death accounts for an estimated 1–2% of all deaths in the United States per year, and it will be encountered on a regular basis by any clinician who cares for patients with neurologic concerns. Despite worldwide acceptance of the concept of brain death, there remains considerable variation in determination and testing across countries and institutions. This can make brain death consideration confusing and stressful for both families and clinicians. The purpose of this chapter is to provide a general overview of brain death considerations and tools available to the clinician.

Keywords

Ancillary testing Brain death End of life Apnea test Brain stem reflexes 

Abbreviations

AAN

American academy of neurology

CNS

Central nervous system

CO2

Carbon dioxide

CSF

Cerebrospinal fluid

CTA

Computed tomography angiography

EEG

Electroencephalography

EU

European union

ICU

Intensive care unit

MRI

Magnetic resonance imaging

RNI

Radionuclide imaging

TCD

Transcranial Doppler

UDDA

Uniform determination of death act

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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Neurosurgery, Harborview Medical CenterUniversity of WashingtonSeattleUSA

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