THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The government has approved new set of guidelines for declaring brain death of a patient.
“Brain death is the complete loss of brain function (including involuntary activity necessary to sustain life)”.
As per the new guideline the ventilator support of the patient can be removed by the medical team once the brain death is confirmed after tests without waiting for the consent from the relatives.
Before that the prescribed tests should be performed twice by the panel of doctors with the minimum interval of six hours between the tests to confirm brain death.
As per the new guideline the medical practitioners should have a conversation with the near relatives regarding the medical status and prognosis of the patient in whom brain stem death testing including apnea test is being considered for confirmation of brain stem death diagnosis.
The Apnea test should be the last brain stem reflex test to be performed and that too only if all other tests confirm the absence of other brain stem reflexes.
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All the prescribed tests are required to be performed twice to ensure that there has been no observer error and persistence of the clinical state can be documented with absolute degree of certainty.
It is to be noted that the diagnosis is based only on the clinical examination.
After the completion of the two consistent examinations by the panel of medical experts, if criteria of brain stem death are met, the committee must declare the patient dead.
“All treatment including cardiorespiratory support must be discontinued once brain stem death is pronounced,” says the new guideline.