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Brain Death: Frequently Asked Questions for Healthcare Professionals

This document includes answers to questions frequently asked by healthcare professionals regarding brain death. Some of the questions addressed in this document include:

  • What is the appropriate blood pressure for brain death testing in adults and children?
  • The terms "Confirmatory" and "Ancillary" testing are used, but confusing. Can you explain the difference?
  • How do you explain brain death to a family who has no understanding of medical terminology or of brain?
  • How long does one have to wait after therapeutic hypothermia is utilized and the patient is rewarmed before initiating brain death testing?
  • How does one handle brain death determination when pentobarbital has been given and the level is unknown?
  • If the clinician suspects that the patient is brain dead, but they're still in the Emergency Department, how should they proceed?
  • Who is competent to determine brain death?

Brain Death: Frequently Asked Questions for Healthcare Professionals