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Year : 2020  |  Volume : 16  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 55-60

Determination of brain stem death

Department of Neuroanaesthesia and NeuroCritical Care, Glenegales Global Health City, Chennai, Tamilnadu, India

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Rajagopal Ramanan
Department of Neuroanaesthesia and Neurocritical Care, Gleneagales Global Health City, Chennai, Tamil Nadu
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/AMJM.AMJM_4_20

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This article will focus on a step by step description of the process of brain stem death testing as per Indian Society of Critical Care Medicine (ISCCM) guidelines. This will be followed by a narrative on how the testing criteria differ among the various international guidelines. The importance of identifying a potential brain stem dead patient and confirming the same, zeroes down to two reasons. First and foremost, confirmation of death is needed for both the treating team of doctors and relatives to make informed decisions regarding ongoing care, including futility. The second is that it opens the opportunity to discuss the possibility of organ donation with the relatives. The criteria to diagnose brain stem death follows a stringent protocol and is laid in a fool proof manner so that the chances of making an error is infinistically minimal.

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