The diagnosis of death should be made carefully and according to approved guidelines.


Criteria for the determination of death:

(1) irreversible cessation of circulatory and respiratory functions

(2) irreversible cessation of all functions in the entire brain, including the brain stem


Specific features:

(1) Cessation of function is based on an appropriate clinical examination supplemented by imaging and/or physiologic studies.

(2) Irreversibility involves:

(2a) The cause is established and sufficient to account for the loss of function.

(2b) There is no reasonable chance for recovery in function.

(2c) There has been an appropriate period of observation and/or trial of therapy.


Conditions which can be problematic for the diagnosis of brain death:

(1) drug intoxication

(2) metabolic intoxication

(3) hypothermia

(4) child less than 5 years of age

(5) shock


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