Brain Dead, When Brain Function Completely Stops

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Brain Dead, When Brain Function Completely Stops
Brain Dead, When Brain Function Completely Stops

Brain death is a condition when all brain activity stops permanently. People who experience this condition are in a coma and will not regain consciousness

People with brain death need drugs and assistive devices, such as ventilators, to breathe and keep their hearts beating. The person will not be able to regain consciousness or breathe on their own, because the brain is no longer functioning.

Brain Dead, When Brain Function Stops Totally - Alodokter

Brains that have died can no longer regulate the functions of various organ systems in the body. In other words, a person experiencing brain death can be declared dead.

What Causes Brain Death?

Brain death can occur when the supply of blood or oxygen to the brain stops, so that brain tissue dies and cannot function. This can be caused by several conditions, such as:

  • Disorders of heart function, such as cardiac arrest and cardiac arrest
  • Stroke
  • Severe head injury
  • Brain haemorrhage
  • Infections in the brain, such as meningitis
  • Brain tumor
  • brain herniation

How Is Someone Declared Brain Dead?

There are several criteria for someone to be declared brain dead, namely:

1. Was in a coma that could not be revived

Being in a coma doesn't mean brain dead. If it is possible to wake up from a coma, a person cannot be declared brain dead.

To determine whether a person can regain consciousness or not from a coma, doctors must first find out what caused it.

Although rare, there are some conditions that make a person appear to be brain dead, but they are not. Example:

  • Hypothermia
  • Metabolic disorders
  • Poisoning or overdose of drugs, such as drugs and tranquilizers
  • vegetative state or vegetative state

2. No reflex

A person is considered brain dead if no brain reflexes are found in his body, such as:

  • The eyes are not fixed on the examiner's face when the head is moved left and right
  • The pupil of the eye does not shrink when the eye is exposed to light
  • Does not blink when the doctor drops water into the eyeball or touches the eyeball with an object, such as a cotton bud
  • Eyes do not move when ice water is sprayed into the ear
  • No cough or gag reflex

3. No breath

To determine whether a person is brain dead, doctors will also monitor breathing and other vital signs, such as pulse or heart rate. A person is called brain dead or dead if he can no longer breathe on his own, and his heart is not beating or there is no pulse.

People who have had a cardiac arrest can also experience this condition, but usually can still be helped if immediately given assistance in the form of cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR). Patients with cardiac arrest who are helped after receiving CPR can regain consciousness, breathe on their own, and their heart beats again.

It's different with brain-dead people. Brain dead patients will not be able to regain consciousness or breathe on their own without the help of a device, even though CPR has been performed many times.

To diagnose and confirm brain death in patients, doctors can perform several supporting tests, such as:

  • Electroencephalography (EEG), to measure electrical activity in the patient's brain. In deceased patients, their brain wave or electrical activity is no longer detectable.
  • Heart electrical examination (ECG), to assess electrical activity and heart rate. People who are brain dead or have died no longer have electrical activity in their heart.
  • Imaging tests, such as angiography, CT scan, MRI, and Doppler ultrasound, to determine the condition of the brain and detect blood flow to the brain.

If a person has been confirmed to have brain death or died, the use of drugs or breathing apparatus is actually no longer effective because the condition can no longer be helped.

However, it is sometimes difficult to tell whether a person is brain dead or in a coma due to another medical condition. Therefore, a diagnosis of brain death must be made by at least two doctors, including a neurologist.

Can Brain Dead Patients Become Organ Donors?

Brain dead patients who were previously he althy or have organs that are still functioning properly are candidates for organ donation. In some countries, such as the United States, brain dead patients are even one of the highest sources of organ donors.

In Indonesia, even brain-dead patients can become organ donors, as long as certain conditions are met, namely:

  • The condition of the organs to be donated is still he althy
  • Patients have been declared brain dead by doctors, usually in the form of a letter or death certificate
  • Patient has never suffered from certain diseases, such as HIV, hepatitis B, or malaria

In addition, legally and medically, a brain dead patient can only become an organ donor if the organ donor procedure has been approved by the patient's family, or by the patient himself before he experiences brain death. This consent is usually in the form of an informed consent.

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