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Not Yet Brain Dead 

Not Yet Brain Dead
Not Yet Brain Dead
Neurocritical Care (2 ed.)

Eelco F. M. Wijdicks

, Alejandro A. Rabinstein

, Sara E. Hocker

, and Jennifer E. Fugate


Approximately 5–10 % of patients with severe brain injury become clinically brain dead. Brain death determination is time consuming and involves multiple tests. Most of the time should be spent in finding possible confounding factors. The clinical examination is comprehensive and there is a potential for errors. This chapter focuses on how to avoid them. The diagnosis is based on a clinical neurological examination and not on cerebral blood flow or an electrodiagnostic study. Two examinations by two separate physicians are needed for infants and children. In most of the United States, one examination is sufficient for adults (18 years of age and older), but hospital protocols may be different. In six U.S. states, two physicians are required to examine the patient and document their findings.

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