Brain Death and Organ Donation

  • Alexander Y. Zubkov
  • Eelco F. M. Wijdicks


In the US, the Harvard Ad Hoc committee and the Presidents Commission in 1981 defined criteria for brain death in 1968, which were later codified in the Uniform Determination of Death Act (UDDA) in 1981 The UDDA reads: “An individual who has sustained either: (1) irreversible cessation of circulatory and respiratory functions or (2) irreversible cessation of all functions of the entire brain, including brain stem, is dead; A determination of death must be made in accordance with accepted medical standards”


Brain death Organ transplantation agency 

Suggested Reading

  1. Pollack M (2007) Clinical issues of brain death in children. Lancet Neurol 6:88–89Google Scholar
  2. Robertson KM, Cook DR (1990) Perioperative management of the multiorgan donor. Anesth Analg 70:546–556PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Wijdicks EFM, Vakelas PN, Gronseth GC, Greek DM, Evidence-based guideline update: Determining brain death in adults report of the quality standards subcommittee of the American Academy of Neurology; Neurology 210: 74 1911–1918Google Scholar
  4. Wijdicks EFM (2001) The diagnosis of brain death. New Engl J Med 344:1215–1221PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Wijdicks EFM (2002) The determination of brain death criteria worldwide: accepted fact but not much of a global consensus in diagnostic criteria. Neurology 58:20–25PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Wijdicks EFM, Rabinstein AA, Manno EM, Atkinson J (2008) Pronouncing brain death: contemporary practice and safety of the apnea test. Neurology 71(16):1240–1244PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Zubkov AY, Wijdicks EFM (2008) Plantar flexion and flexion synergy in brain death. Neurology 70:E74 (includes a video of the response)PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Minneapolis Clinic of NeurologyStroke Center, Fairview Southdale HospitalRochesterUSA
  2. 2.Department of Neurology and Neurological surgeryMayo Clinic School of MedicineRochesterUSA

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