Brain Death: Electroencephalogram Or A Cerebral Blood Flow Study

1579 words - 7 pages

Of all the deaths that transpires in the United States, one to two percent of them are initiated by brain death ("Organ Donation and Brain Death”). That would mean that approximately 6,411,258 people perish from brain related incidents. For many years, brain death has been a controversial topic in the medical field. No one person wants to have the daunting task of telling a family their loved one will not subsist. In most cases, the patient does not survive. However, the person’s circumstance depends critically on the type of injury that has occurred. If the injury is severe, the patient’s percent of surviving radically decreases. Before declaring a patient brain dead, a doctor must contemplate several things. It becomes a task of reality in deciding what brain death is, factors that make someone brain dead, and the controversial opinions based off of ethical and theological considerations.
Brain death will frequently be demarcated as the irreversible loss of the function of the brain, which includes the brain stem (Henneman & Karras). Patients that suffer from brain death are not in coma, however it may or may not progress to brain death (Olsen 4). Patients in coma may remain in a deep coma or a vegetative state (4). However, everyone will ultimately die of brain death whether they writhe from cardiac arrest or a gunshot wound to the skull (2). Consequently, the rules of declaring someone brain dead are guided by the Uniform Determination of Death Act (Henneman & Karras). Singular hospital practice can vary but it depends on existing resources and the physician’s familiarity.
The brain can persist for up to six minutes after the heart stops, and after that time period the brain initiates its journey to perish (Olsen 2). “Severe damage to the brain or going a long period of time without oxygen or glucose can cause the death of the brain (2). The most mutual cause of brain death in adults is traumatic brain damage and subarachnoid hemorrhage (Henneman & Karras). One tactic in which the brain can die is from a trauma (Olsen 2). “The trauma may be an open wound such as a gunshot wound, or it can be a closed wound like a blunt injury (3). Another form of the death of the brain may occur from anoxia, which is a period of time where no oxygen is received, which can take place from drowning, hanging or carbon monoxide poisoning (3). Also, a person may suffer from brain death from a cerebral vascular accident similar to an aneurysm or a stroke (3). Drug overdose is an alternative form of a battered brain that can result from brain death due to low blood-glucose levels (3). Also, tumors may be a form of the death of the brain such as metastasis (3). “Metastasis is the process by which cancer spreads from its origin to distant locations of the body (“Metastasis Definition - Cancer Information”). Metastasis depends on the cancer cells abilities such as motility and invasiveness (“Metastasis Definition – Cancer Information”). Although there are many ways...

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