Are you really brain dead?
It all depends which hospital you attend in the US, according to a new study.
In 2010 the American Academy of Neurology recommended a specific set of guidelines for declaring patients brain dead.
The new research looks at the procedures at 492 hospitals and health care systems across America.
Most have adopted the guidelines, but there are significant differences in how key parts of the guidelines have been implemented.
More than 20% of the hospitals don’t require doctors to check that patients’ temperatures are high enough to make the assessment, as the guidelines call for.
Almost half of them don’t require doctors to ensure patients’ blood pressure is adequate for assessment of brain function.
And in some hospitals doctors are allowed to skip tests that the guidelines recommend.
In addition, most of them don’t require that a neurologist, neurosurgeon or even a fully trained doctor make the final decision.
Picture source: via Wikimedia Commons