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Can Someone Come Back From Being Brain Dead

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Responding To An Important Objection: The Probative Value Of Tks Case

Miraculous recovery for 13-year-old declared brain dead

On February 34, 2005, the Pontifical Academy of Sciences, in cooperation with the World Organization for the Family, hosted a conference at the Vatican to discuss the validity of the brain-related criteria for death. In its final report on the proceedings of the meeting, the Pontifical Academy of Sciences raised an important objection to TKs case. Basically, its final statement defending the validity of the neurological criteria for death suggests that TKs case is an outlier, an exception to the rule, that is not relevant to the brain-death debate:

If was a valid documented case of brain death, it makes the point that in extraordinarily rare exceptions this kind of case occurs. However, many years have passed since this case, there is a great deal of uncertainty about it, and one cannot generalise from it to invalidate the criteria for brain deathThe neurological community does not believe that this case disturbs the conceptual validity of brain death as being equivalent to human death.

To put it another way, given the exceptionality of TKs case, the Pontifical Academy is proposing that TKs autopsy report is not probative for understanding the state of all/most/more than a few patients diagnosed with total brain failure.

If being alive as a biological organism requires being a whole that is more than the mere sum of its parts, then it would be difficult to deny that the body of a patient with total brain failure can still be alive, at least in some cases.

What Happens During Cardiac Arrest

During cardiac arrest, unconsciousness will occur rapidly once the heart stops beating, typically within 20 seconds. Deprived of the oxygen and sugars it needs to function, the brain will be unable to deliver the electrical signals needed to sustain organ function, including breathing.

This can lead to a hypoxic-anoxic injury . Hypoxia refers to a partial lack of oxygen, while anoxia indicates a total lack of oxygen. In general, the more complete the deprivation, the more severe the harm to the brain.

With cardiac arrest, the lack of circulation affects not just one part of the brain but everywhere in the brain where blood flows. An injury caused by apoxia is referred to as diffuse brain damage. Among the parts of the brain most vulnerable to injury is the temporal lobe where memories are stored.

Attempting To Reverse The Irreversible

The clinical trial will involve a four-step approach. The spinal cords of the brain dead subjects will be injected with stem cells, which are cells that have the ability to differentiate into other cell types, including neurons.

The stem cells minimally manipulated, autologous, adult stem cells derived and expanded from patient fat and/or peripheral blood will serve as some new bricks in the regenerative process, Pastor explained to Medical News Today.

Subjects will also be injected with a peptide called BQ-A derived from ooplasms, the cytoplasm of an egg, or oocyte which Pastor told us will act as the blue print and mortar in the regenerative process.

As well as aiding neuronal growth, Pastor explained that the peptides will help to reprogram and recondition the surrounding tissue at the location where stem cells are injected, and they will also help to target and destroy components of dead tissue.

Once these steps are complete, median nerve stimulation techniques and transcranial laser therapy will be applied to each subject for 15 days, with the aim of spurring connections between the newly formed neurons.

In short, it is our contention that there will be no single magic bullet for success and any traditional single drug approach would be fairly futile. Hence why we are employing this type of combinatorial approach, Pastor told MNT.

Secondarily, he added, we hope the trial will answer certain deeper issues about the human mind.

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Other Brain Death Testing

After completing the physical assessment, the physician may elect to order additional testing. While it is typical for both a physical assessment and an apnea test to be done, some people who are not brain dead cannot tolerate apnea testing. Often, in those cases, a flow study will be done. These studies are done to see if blood is traveling to the brain through the bloodstream. If the study shows that no blood is reaching the brain, the test is consistent with brain death.

Some physicians will use an EEG, or electroencephalogram, which is a test that measures brain waves. A person who is brain dead will have a flat EEG, as brain waves will be absent.

Atropine, a prescription medication that causes the heart rate to increase, an also be administered as an ancillary test for brain death because it is not effective in brain dead individuals. If the heart rate increases notably after the medication is given, this suggests that a person is not brain dead.

Donation After Brain Death

People who have died and come back to life reveal what it ...

Families of a brain dead patient must, by federal regulations, be provided the option of organ donation. If the family declines donation, the mechanical ventilator, medications and fluids are discontinued, after which the heart stops. If the family says yes to donation, the regional organ procurement organization is involved. The donors body is kept functioning by artificial means, such as ventilated support until the recovery of organs and tissue for life-saving transplant.

If you support donation it is important to document your decision. This removes the burden off of your loved ones to make the decision once you have passed away.

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Shocking Number Of Patients Not Really Brain Dead

On Behalf of Steinberg, Goodman & Kalish | Feb 13, 2018 | Medical Malpractice

Studies from Canada indicate that approximately 20% of patients misdiagnosed as brain-dead are in fact conscious and have the potential to recover from traumatic brain injuries. This misdiagnosis can have fatal consequences that can result when physicians and loved ones pull the plug on life support systems that are keeping patients alive. New technology that detects brain activity could be the answer.

‘miracle Recovery’ Of Teen Declared Brain Dead By Four Doctors

A teenager who was declared brain dead by four doctors has made a “miracle” recovery after his parents asked for another medical opinion, just moments before his life support machine could have been switched off.

Steven Thorpe, then 17, suffered horrific injuries in a multiple car crash, leaving him in a medically-induced coma and another man dead.

Doctors told his family he would never recover and asked them to consider donating his organs before his life-support machine was turned off.

Instead, Stevens father enlisted the help of private GP Julia Piper to check his son again as doctors at University Hospital in Coventry, West Midlands, agreed to let a neurologist re-examine him.

Remarkably, he detected faint brain waves indicating Steven had a slim chance of recovery and medics decided to attempt to bring him out of his coma.

Just five weeks later, he was discharged from hospital having made a near-full recovery.

Steven, a 21-year-old trainee accountant, has now spoken of his progress for the first time and paid tribute to his family and the GP who may have saved him.

He said: “My father believed I was still there.

“He expressed his views to Julia Piper and I think she listened very closely to what my dad had said.

“My impression is maybe the hospital weren’t very happy that my father wanted a second opinion.

“I think the doctors wanted to give me three days on the life support machine and the following day they said they wanted to turn it off.

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Mistaking The Living For The Dead

As Benjamin Franklin once said, In this world nothing is certain but death and taxes. In a clinical setting, however, a declaration of death is not as certain as one might think.

In 2014 came a report of an 80-year-old woman who had been frozen alive in a hospital morgue after being wrongly pronounced dead.

In the same year, a New York Hospital came under fire after incorrectly declaring a woman as brain dead following a drug overdose. The woman awoke shortly after being taken to the operating room for organ harvesting.

Cases such as these beg the question, how is it even possible to mistakingly declare a person as dead?

There are two types of death: clinical death and biological death. Clinical death is defined as the absence of a pulse, heartbeat, and breathing, while biological death is defined as the absence of brain activity.

Looking at these definitions, you might assume that it would be easy to tell when a person is deceased but in some cases, it is not so simple.

There are a number of medical conditions that can make an individual appear dead.

Can Dead Brains Be Brought Back To Life First Human Study To Find Out

Ways to Bring the Brain Dead Back to Life

Last month, a Philadelphia-based biotech company kicked off a clinical trial that pushes the envelope of what it means to be dead.

Armed with ethical approval from the IRB at the Anupam Hospital in India, Bioquark is recruiting 20 patients who have been clinically deemed brain dead from severe traumatic brain injury.

With an arsenal of cutting-edge, if mysterious, treatment techniques stem cells, bioactive molecules, brain and spinal cord stimulation the team hopes to revive parts of the patients basic brain functions, with the eventual holy grail goal of returning the ability to breathe on their own.

The anticipated deadline for measurable results? A short 15 days.

Let that sink in.

If your first reaction is incredulity, youre not alone. What is this, The Lazarus Effect, Frankenstein, The Walking Dead? Some sort of viral campaign for an upcoming horror flick?

Not quite. A horde of zombies may not be in our future, but Bioquarks goals are to cheat death. Heres what the stunningly ambitious ReAnima project plans to do.

The Tricky Business of Defining Death

We often think of death as flipping a switch: one minute youre there, the next minute its all lights go out.

Brain death, in contrast, is final. The diagnosis signals a complete and irreversible destruction of the brain, including the brain stem. Brain dead individuals arent comatose or in a vegetative state. They have no hope for spontaneous recovery. Theyre dead.

The Lazarus Toolkit

ReAnimation

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Left Ventricular Assist Device

An LVAD is used in cases of heart failure. Its a mechanical device that assists the left ventricle in pumping blood to the body.

Sometimes an LVAD becomes necessary when a person is awaiting a heart transplant. It doesnt replace the heart. It just helps the heart pump.

LVADs can have significant side effects, so a person on the heart transplant list might opt against having one implanted after evaluating their likely wait time and risk with their doctor.

A Summary Of Tk’s Clinical History

TK’s autopsy report includes a narrative of his clinical history with medical details that will be relevant for the philosophical analysis of brain death that follows below. In brief, TK was born in 1979. When he was four years old, he contracted Haemophilus influenzae meningitis that put him into a coma. While staying in a Nebraska hospital for treatment, he experienced an increase in intracranial pressure so severe that it separated the bony plates of his skull. An EEG revealed no electrocerebral activity, but his family was opposed to his removal from life support.

For several weeks following his initial infection, TK experienced severe temperature and blood pressure fluctuations that required days of dopamine infusion to support his blood pressure. Urine output fluctuated tremendously suggesting that he had diabetes insipidus. There were also dramatic shifts in his serum sodium. After this period of crisis, however, TK’s temperature, blood pressure, urine output, and serum sodium levels became stable.

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Symptoms Of Vegetative State

People in a vegetative state can do some things because some parts of the brain are functioning:

  • They can open their eyes.

  • They have relatively regular sleeping and waking patterns .

  • They can breathe, suck, chew, cough, gag, swallow, and make guttural sounds.

  • They may even be startled by loud noises and appear to smile or frown.

Because of these responses, they may appear to be aware of their surroundings. However, they have no awareness of themselves or their environment. Their apparent responses to their surroundings result from automatic basic reflexes and not from a conscious action. For example, they may instinctively grasp an object when it touches their hand, as a baby does.

People in a vegetative state cannot do things that require thought or conscious intention. They cannot speak, follow commands, move their limbs purposefully, or move to avoid a painful stimulus.

People in a vegetative state have no control over urination and bowel movements .

Ruling Out Other Conditions

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Before testing for brain stem death can begin, doctors must carry out a series of checks to ensure that the symptoms aren’t being caused by other factors, such as:

  • an overdose of illegal drugs, tranquillisers, poisons or other chemical agents
  • an abnormally low body temperature
  • severe under-activity of the thyroid gland

Once these factors have been ruled out, tests are carried out to confirm brain death. The diagnosis of brain death has to be made by two senior doctors. Neither of them can be involved with the hospital’s transplant team.

The doctors will explain the tests to you and they’ll keep you informed about your loved one’s condition at all times.

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How To Interact With A Loved One Who Is Unconscious Or At A Low Level Of Responsiveness

The most natural way of interacting is to talk to your loved one, even though he or she may not respond or understand. Telling him or her about recent events in your life, whats going on in your family or neighborhood, or the latest news may make you feel connected. Talking with your loved one about what you are doing as you provide care can increase your comfort with caregiving. For example, telling your loved one that you are going to move his or her arms and legs to help prevent joint tightness might make you feel more comfortable with this task. Only do these range of motion exercises if you have been instructed to do so by a doctor, nurse, or therapist.

Touch is another way to feel connected. Some family members have said that giving a massage or putting lotion on the hands or face of their loved one helps them to feel close to them. Its also important to give your loved one time for quiet and rest, such as by turning the TV off. You should also avoid overstimulation as this may cause rapid breathing, muscle tightening, teeth grinding, restlessness, and fatigue.

What Happens To An Individual While These Tests Are Being Done

The individual is placed on a machine that breathes for him or her, called a ventilator. This machine is needed because the brain can no longer send signals telling the body to breathe. Special medications to help maintain blood pressure and other body functions may also be given. During the brain death testing, the ventilator and medications continue but they do not affect the results of the testing.

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Can A Brain Dead Person Open Their Eyes

A person who is brain dead is dead, with no chance of revival. Coma: A state of profound unresponsiveness as a result of severe illness or brain injury. Patients in a coma do not open their eyes or speak, and they do not exhibit purposeful behaviors. Some patients need ventilators while others do not

How Brain Death Is Diagnosed

Is A Brain Dead Person Actually Dead?

There is more to the loss of consciousness than not being awake. Sleep and coma, for example, each involves the loss of consciousness and are largely defined by the time it takes to return to consciousness. Even a person in a persistent vegetative state has the possibility, albeit slight, of waking up.

Brain death is different. As the term suggests, brain death indicates that there is no brain activity and, as such, no hope of recovery. Medically speaking, brain death is the definitive diagnosis of death.

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Responding To An Important Objection: The Probative Value Of Tk’s Case

On February 34, 2005, the Pontifical Academy of Sciences, in cooperation with the World Organization for the Family, hosted a conference at the Vatican to discuss the validity of the brain-related criteria for death. In its final report on the proceedings of the meeting, the Pontifical Academy of Sciences raised an important objection to TK’s case. Basically, its final statement defending the validity of the neurological criteria for death suggests that TK’s case is an outlier, an exception to the rule, that is not relevant to the brain-death debate:

If was a valid documented case of brain death, it makes the point that in extraordinarily rare exceptions this kind of case occurs. However, many years have passed since this case, there is a great deal of uncertainty about it, and one cannot generalise from it to invalidate the criteria for brain deathThe neurological community does not believe that this case disturbs the conceptual validity of brain death as being equivalent to human death.

To put it another way, given the exceptionality of TK’s case, the Pontifical Academy is proposing that TK’s autopsy report is not probative for understanding the state of all/most/more than a few patients diagnosed with total brain failure.

If being alive as a biological organism requires being a whole that is more than the mere sum of its parts, then it would be difficult to deny that the body of a patient with total brain failure can still be alive, at least in some cases.

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