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BRAIN DEATH


BRAIN DEATH IS VERY DIFFICULT TO DEFINE, ELIZABETH TRACEY REPORTS


Requiring two examinations in order to declare a person brain dead may prolong suffering for families as well as compromise organ donation, a study published in the journal Neurology concluded.  Dorry Segev, a transplant surgeon at Johns Hopkins, says this problem could be averted with a national standard for establishing brain death.

SEGEV:  I think it would be very important to have a national standard, because it’s very important for us to understand the concept of brain death and to standardize the concept of brain death.  Making a standard for brain death that would be national and robust would remove questions in people’s minds about whether their loved one is dead or is not dead.  And making that standard in a way that’s as expeditious as possible would allow people to really make the least traumatic possible decision.   :31

This study found an average time between the two brain death exams to be 19 hours.  At Johns Hopkins, I’m Elizabeth Tracey.


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