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Study finds significant differences in protocols hospitals use to determine brain death
Date:1/17/2008

eaving 38 programs responses to be evaluated.

The study identified significant differences among the responding hospitals guidelines, including several discrepancies from the AAN guidelines. Among these were specifications regarding the specialty and level of training required for physicians authorized to determine brain death, conditions that need to be met such as confirming that potentially reversible factors were not responsible for a patients condition before specific testing took place, and the type and timing of examinations used to determine brain death.

While our study was not designed to evaluate the actual practices at these institutions, which are among the leading hospitals in the country, our guess is that most of them try to adhere to their hospitals policies, Greer says. We feel it is time for the previous AAN guidelines to be revised and made more explicit and possibly to create a web-based checklist that can help physicians perform brain death determination. We would hope that major institutions would then endorse these guidelines without further major modifications.


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Contact: Sue McGreevey
smcgreevey@partners.org
617-724-2764
Massachusetts General Hospital
Source:Eurekalert

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