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How Brain Death Works

By: Leslie C. Olson

Everyone will eventually experience brain death. See more brain pictures.
Photo courtesy NASA

Many recent advancements in modern medicine and breakthroughs in the understanding of human physiology have made it possible to separately and artificially maintain tissue viability without the impulses being transmitted by the brainor brain stem.

­Due to the continual medical advancements, there will be more and more patients who are being maintained by ventilation support systems -- their body temperature, blood pressure, pulse, nutrition and fluid requirements are being artificially maintained, but they have a non-viable (dead) brain. These patients are brain dead without any hope of recovery or survival.

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In this article, you'll learn about the diagnosis of "brain death" and how it compares with coma and cardiac death.

Nothing in this article should be construed as a treatment regimen or suggested treatment regimen for any particular patient. All patients with neurological injury and the next of kin of the patient should rely on their local neurosurgeon or neurologist for the best care plan for the patient.

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