Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Second brain death exam may be unnecessary, hurt organ donation rates

Date:
December 15, 2010
Source:
American Academy of Neurology
Summary:
Requiring a second exam on a person who is considered brain dead may be unnecessary, according to a new study on the impact of a second brain death exam on organ donation rates.

Requiring a second exam on a person who is considered brain dead may be unnecessary, according to a study on the impact of a second brain death exam on organ donation rates. The research is published in the December 15, 2010, online issue of Neurology®, the medical journal of the American Academy of Neurology.

For the study, scientists reviewed the cases of 1,229 adults and 82 children ages one and older pronounced brain dead. The information was taken from the New York Organ Donor Network database during a 19-month period.

"One of the most disturbing findings of our study is the prolonged anguish imposed on grieving families in the intensive care unit waiting for the second brain death exam," said study author Dana Lustbader, MD, FCCM, FCCP, with The North Shore LIJ Health System in Manhasset, New York. "Not only is the opportunity for organ donation reduced, but families may endure unnecessary suffering while waiting an average of 19 hours for the second exam to be completed."

"Since organ viability decreases the longer a person is brain dead, our results show that conducting more than one brain death examination results in the loss of potentially life-saving organs," reports Lustbader. "A repeat exam adds an extra day of intensive care resulting in additional costs of about a million dollars per year in the New York region alone."

The study found that none of the people declared brain dead in the first exam were found to have restored brain stem function in the second exam.

Lustbader noted that 166 people, or 12 percent, sustained a cardiac arrest while awaiting a second exam or after the second exam, making them ineligible for organ donation.

The average time between the two exams in the study was 19 hours, three times longer than recommended by the New York State Health Department. As the time between exams increased, consent for organ donation decreased from 57 percent to 45 percent. In addition, refusal of organ donation increased from 23 percent to 36 percent as the time between exams increased.

In New York, the State Department of Health's 2005 brain death guidelines require a breathing test and two clinical brain death exams, carried out six hours apart. In 2010, the American Academy of Neurology updated its brain death guidelines, which now call for only one brain death examination.

"These findings illustrate why there's a crucial need to standardize approaches for determining brain death," said Gene Sung, MD, MPH, of the University of Southern California in Los Angeles and a member of the American Academy of Neurology, who wrote an editorial regarding the article that is published in Neurology.

To read the American Academy of Neurology's updated guidelines on brain death, visit

http://www.neurology.org/content/74/23/1911.full.pdf+html

.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by American Academy of Neurology. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

American Academy of Neurology. "Second brain death exam may be unnecessary, hurt organ donation rates." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 15 December 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/12/101215163735.htm>.
American Academy of Neurology. (2010, December 15). Second brain death exam may be unnecessary, hurt organ donation rates. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 17, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/12/101215163735.htm
American Academy of Neurology. "Second brain death exam may be unnecessary, hurt organ donation rates." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/12/101215163735.htm (accessed April 17, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Is Apathy A Sign Of A Shrinking Brain?

Is Apathy A Sign Of A Shrinking Brain?

Newsy (Apr. 17, 2014) — A recent study links apathetic feelings to a smaller brain. Researchers say the results indicate a need for apathy screening for at-risk seniors. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Could Even Casual Marijuana Use Alter Your Brain?

Could Even Casual Marijuana Use Alter Your Brain?

Newsy (Apr. 16, 2014) — A new study conducted by researchers at Northwestern and Harvard suggests even casual marijuana use can alter your brain. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Thousands Of Vials Of SARS Virus Go Missing

Thousands Of Vials Of SARS Virus Go Missing

Newsy (Apr. 16, 2014) — A research institute in Paris somehow misplaced more than 2,000 vials of the deadly SARS virus. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Formerly Conjoined Twins Released From Dallas Hospital

Formerly Conjoined Twins Released From Dallas Hospital

Newsy (Apr. 16, 2014) — Conjoined twins Emmett and Owen Ezell were separated by doctors in August. Now, nearly nine months later, they're being released from the hospital. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins