What is the criteria for brain death?

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What is the criteria for brain death in adults and pediatric group?

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Adult Criteria

  1. No cerebral function: Patient is in a deep coma, unresponsive to stimuli.
  2. No brain stem function: No evidence on exam of cranial nerve function; lack of reflexes (papillary, corneal, cold water calorics, Doll’s eyes, gag).
  3. No spontaneous breathing: Apnea test.

    Requirements: Normothermia, no central nervous system (CNS) depressants or neuromuscular blockers in effect
    Suggestions: Electroencephalogram (EEG), though not legally required; 6-hour observation period prior to performing brain death examination

Pediatric Criteria

  1. 7 days to 2 months: Two clinical exams, apnea tests, and EEGs at least 48 hours apart
  2. 2 months to 1 year: As above, but 24 hours apart
  3. Over 1 year: Two clinical exams and apnea tests 12 hours apart
answered Jul 21, 2012 by Sulabh Shrestha Doctor of Medicine (5,553 points)