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Can You Come Back From Brain Dead

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What Test Shows Blood Flow To The Brain

Ways to Bring the Brain Dead Back to Life

Magnetic resonance imaging uses computer-generated radio waves and a powerful magnetic field to produce detailed images of body tissues. Using different sequences of magnetic pulses, MRI can show anatomical images of the brain or spinal cord, measure blood flow, or reveal deposits of minerals such as iron.

Survivors Of Brain Death

In addition to the above-mentioned dramatic, spontaneous full recovery from brain death, there are also many well-documented cases of brain-death survivors. Though pronounced dead according to the neurological standard, these patients continued to live, albeit in the severe disabling state of chronic brain death. The following is not an unlikely scenario: a severely brain-injured patient was declared brain-dead the family, however, declined organ donation the patient did not die, that is, he or she did not have cardiac arrest, contrary to the insistent claim that imminent asystole necessarily follows brain death. After a few weeks, once the initial hemodynamic instability subsides, gastrointestinal motility returns along with spinal hyperreflexia, and the patient continues to live on for weeks and months without aggressive medical intervention, requiring only a mechanical ventilator, tube feeding, and basic nursing care .

in a chapter on head injury, multisystem derangements are interpreted as therapeutic challenges to keep a critically injured patient alive, whereas in a typical chapter on BD the same derangements are cited as evidence that the patient has already died.

Recovering From The Mcs

When a person can correctly answer simple yes and no questions or use at least two objects such as a comb or pencil consistently, they are no longer in the MCS. Some people stay in the MCS indefinitely, but many improve and regain independence. The longer a person remains in the MCS, the more permanent impairments he or she is likely to have. Both the VS and the MCS are caused by severe damage to areas of the brain that are important for consciousness. After improving from the MCS, people are usually confused. Some people move directly from coma to this confused state.

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Features Of The Confusional State

  • Acting lost or confused. This may include not being able to keep track of the correct place and time.
  • Severe problems with attention, memory, and other mental abilities.
  • Changes in level of responsiveness.
  • Restlessness.
  • Feeling very tired and sleeping during the day.
  • Believing things that arent true.
  • Seeing things that arent there.

Care During Coma Or Vs

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People in a coma or a VS need a lot of care. This care may include:

  • Feeding with a feeding tube.
  • Turning the person while he or she is in bed to prevent pressure injuries .
  • Helping with bowel and bladder relief. This may include using a catheter or diapers.
  • Managing breathing. This may include removing mucus from the airway. It may also include cleaning a tracheostomy tube.
  • Managing muscle tone. This includes helping to relieve extremely tight muscles with positioning and range of motion exercises.
  • Using special equipment. This may include a wheelchair. It could also include special bedding to help with proper posture, decrease muscle tightness, and prevent pressure sores.
  • Treating infections such as pneumonia or urinary tract infections.
  • Managing other health problems such as fevers or seizures.

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Doctors at Childrens Hospital Oakland pronounced McMath, 13, brain-dead Dec. 9. She developed complications after surgery for sleep apnea and lost a large amount of blood. Munoz, 33, got the diagnosis at John Peter Smith Hospital in Fort Worth after she collapsed from a blood clot when she was 14 weeks pregnant. The hospital, citing a state law, refuses to remove the ventilator because it would harm the fetus, now in its 20th week.

The two cases are poignant, in part, because of a biological quirk of the body: The patients hearts continue to beat.

Hearts have their own biological pacemaker, and with ventilation, the heart can continue to beat for days, even up to a week. But with more aggressive care, it can last months and longer after brain death, experts say, depending on the health of the patient and how much treatment is provided.

That ventilation saved the fetus in the Munoz case, and probably in the nick of time, said Dr. R. Phillips Heine, director of maternal and fetal medicine at Duke Universitys medical school. The diminished blood flow to the fetus when the mother collapsed she is thought to have been passed out for about an hour before receiving care may lead to adverse effects over time, but we have no way to predict that, Heine said.

A prolonged heartbeat has created the perception of life for McMaths family, while for Munozs relatives it represents a denial of the right to die.


What Is The Prognosis For People Who Have Cerebral Hypoxia

A person with mild cerebral hypoxia may have few, if any, symptoms. They may recover without noticeable long-term effects.

The outlook for someone with cerebral hypoxia depends on:

  • Length of time the brain goes without oxygen.
  • Severity of brain damage.
  • Age at the time of the incident .

Studies suggest that a person who comes out of a coma in less than four weeks has a better chance of recovering with little long-term damage.

Some people remain in a persistent vegetative state. This means they appear to be awake, but they cant consciously respond to commands or communicate. The odds of recovery arent good if this condition lasts for more than three months.

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Factors That Influence Recovery Chances

While the severity of brain damage plays a major role in predicting recovery outlook after TBI, it is not the only factor involved.

Other factors doctors may look at to predict brain damage recovery chances include:

  • Duration of coma. The less time a patient is in a coma after brain injury, the better their chances of a good recovery.
  • Post-traumatic amnesia. When the person emerges from a coma, they go through a period of amnesia and confusion. Sometimes this period only lasts a few hours, but typically it lasts days or even weeks. The shorter the amnesia lasts, the better the prognosis.
  • Age. In general, TBI patients over the age of 60 or under the age of two have the most limited chances of recovery.
  • Pupil reactivity. More reactive pupils are associated with greater functional recovery.
  • Location of injury. Chances of recovery are generally higher for those with focal head injuries than diffuse head injuries because damage is limited to one area of the brain as opposed to multiple areas.
  • Pre-existing health conditions. Individuals with a prior history of health conditions like anxiety, depression, headaches, and seizures generally require more time to recover from brain injury.
  • Secondary effects. Secondary effects of brain damage such as personality changes, sleep problems, and chronic pain may interfere with ones motivation to pursue recovery.
  • Motivation. Recovery outcomes are best when the individual is highly motivated to pursue recovery.

Life After Brain Death: Is The Body Still ‘alive’

Is A Brain Dead Person Actually Dead?

ByRachael Rettnerpublished 3 January 14

A 13-year-old girl in California continues to be on a ventilator after being declared brain-dead by doctors. Although a brain-dead person is not legally alive, how much of the body will keep on working with the help of technology, and for how long?

Jahi McMath of Oakland, Calif., was declared brain-dead last month after experiencing an extremely rare complication from tonsil surgery. Jahi’s family members have fought to keep their daughter on a ventilator, but a judge has ordered that the machine be turned off next week.

A person is considered brain-dead when he or she no longer has any neurological activity in the brain or brain stem meaning no electrical impulses are being sent between brain cells. Doctors perform a number of tests to determine whether someone is brain-dead, one of which checks whether the individual can initiate his or her own breath, a very primitive reflex carried out by the brain stem, said Dr. Diana Greene-Chandos, an assistant professor of neurological surgery and neurology at Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center. “It’s the last thing to go,” Greene-Chandos said.

In the United States and many other countries, a person is legally dead if he or she permanently loses all brain activity or all breathing and circulatory functions. In Jahi’s case, three doctors have concluded that she is brain-dead.

Greene-Chandos said Jahi’s case is tragic, and as a mother, she is heartbroken for the family.

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Reversing Brain Death: Far

From gene editing to human head transplantation, the limits of medical science are being pushed further than ever. And now, researchers have turned their attention to another extraordinary mission: reversing brain death.

Though it sounds similar to the makings of fiction, scientists have received approval for the first ever trial that aims to restore neuronal activity in humans who have been declared brain dead.

The proof-of-concept study which forms a part of the Reanima Project is the brainchild of two life sciences companies: Bioquark, Inc., based in the United States, and Revita Life Sciences, based in India.

Due to begin later this year, the trial will recruit 20 individuals who have suffered brain death as a result of traumatic brain injury , but whose bodies are biologically alive as a result of cardiopulmonary and trophic support a model referred to as a living cadaver.

To participate in the trial, each subject must be aged between 15 and 65 years, be unwilling for organ donation, and have written consent from a legally acceptable representative.

Researchers including Bioquark CEO Ira Pastor will test a variety of techniques that previous studies have demonstrated to possess neuroregenerative properties, and these will be combined with devices that have been shown to stimulate the central nervous system of coma patients.

How Brain Death Is Diagnosed

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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How Can I Lower My Risk Of Cerebral Hypoxia

Its important to manage conditions like high blood pressure. Conditions that can cause a heart attack or stroke increase the risk of cerebral hypoxia.

You can also take safety measures to lower the risk of accidents that cause cerebral hypoxia. You and your family can:

  • Buckle up with seatbelts.
  • Install smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors in your home.
  • Use life vests, swim at places that have lifeguards and supervise children around water, including bathtubs.
  • Wear helmets during high-impact physical activities or while biking, skating or skiing.

How Do You Cure Brain Dead


Research indicates that stem cell therapy and transcranial laser therapy may help to repair brain damage . Furthermore, studies have shown that median nerve stimulation can help to awaken comatose patients , while transcranial laser therapy has been found to improve recovery from neurodegenerative disease .

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Problems With The Clinical Tests For Brain Death In General

With the worldwide legal adoption of brain death as death , it appears that the medical community has accepted the clinical test-criteria for brain death as if they were scientific truths, even though they are fraught with known flaws and problems. Only a few of these are mentioned below.

The first fundamental flaw is the lack of scientific data required for the validation of the clinical tests for the determination of brain death. Medicine is an empirical science every test procedure and medical product must be validated through various phases of rigorous testing before they can be put to use in clinical practice. Yet, the Harvard report cited no medical studies or any patient data that would validate the clinical tests put forth for establishing brain death and equating it with death. The one single prospective study was the 1977 Collaborative Study conducted by the National Institutes of Health evaluating the data collected on 503 brain-dead patients . It then called for a larger clinical trial, which still remains to be carried out. Without a valid scientific foundation, the whole of the clinical test battery is merely opinion-based, that is, reflecting the opinion of the thirteen members of the Harvard Committee and their subsequent followers.

Critical Evaluation Of The Clinical Tests For Brain Death

The clinical test-criteria for the determination of brain-death are well engrained in the brain-death literature since they have not changed much between the 1968 Harvard Report and the 2010 American Academy of Neurology Guidelines for Brain Death Determination . While the number of possible confirmatory tests, which are ancillary and optional, has increased, the core clinical tests performed at the bedside have remained unchanged. They include: coma, with complete unresponsiveness even to the most painful stimuli absence of brain stem reflexes and apnea, that is, absence of a breathing drive as tested with a CO2 challenge. Ancillary tests are of two types, for the purpose of detecting either brain electrical activity or evidence of brain blood flow. The 2010 guidelines specify, however, that in adults, ancillary tests are not needed for the clinical diagnosis of brain death and cannot replace a neurologic examination . Without the use of ancillary tests, the determination of the US-based whole brain death is identical to that of the UK-based brainstem death.

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What Does Brain Dead Mean

Brain death is when no brain function exists, causing death.

Brain death results from “swelling in the brain where blood flow in the brain ceases and without blood to oxygenate the cells and the tissue dies” according to Life Source.

Once brain tissue dies, there is nothing that can be done to heal it.

When a person deteriorates to brain death, the bodys entire system stops.

The brain death victim cannot breathe, their heart cannot beat and their body cannot function once the brain dies.

Brain death is a rare event that occurs in one out of every 200 hospital deaths

What Is Cerebral Hypoxia

Researchers say there’s evidence that consciousness continues after clinical death

Cerebral hypoxia occurs when your brain doesnt get enough oxygen. A related condition, anoxia, occurs when no oxygen reaches the brain. Healthcare providers often use the terms together: a hypoxic-anoxic brain injury.

Without oxygen, brain cells die, and a brain injury can occur. It can happen even when enough blood reaches the brain, such as when you breathe in smoke or carbon monoxide.

Treatments can help people who have brain injuries from cerebral hypoxia. But no one can bring back dead brain cells or reverse a brain injury. The condition can result in lifelong brain damage. If it continues too long, it can be fatal.

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Brain Restoration System Explores Hazy Territory Between Being Dead Or Alive

An experiment that restored cellular function to pigs brains hours after death holds the potential for advancing neuroscience research

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One of the two legal definitions of death is irreversible cessation of all brain function, commonly known as brain death. It was widely believed that brain cells undergo rapidand irreversibledegeneration immediately after death. But a striking new study, in Nature, suggests that much functionality can be preserved or restoredeven hours after death. A research team, based primarily at the Yale School of Medicine, managed to revive some functions in the whole brains of pigs slaughtered four hours previously and to sustain them for a further six hours.

The work was motivated by the observation that cells can be harvested from postmortem brains and sustained in cell cultures for study, neuroscientist and team leader Nenad Sestan said in a press briefing: In short, if we can do this in a petri dish, can we do it in an intact brain? The system Sestan and his colleague developed, called BrainEx, comprises three elements: a computerized system of pumps, filters and reservoirs a blood substitute containing no cells but capable of carrying oxygen, along with numerous compounds designed to protect cells and a surgical procedure to hook everything up.

Problems With The Apnea Test

According to the published guidelines, the apnea test is the cornerstone procedure for declaring a patient brain-dead. This procedure, just like all the other clinical test-criteria put forth by the Harvard Committee, has never been validated. A recent review of current-practice apnea testing reveals that it still lacks consensus standardization regarding the actual procedure, monitored parameters, and evidence-based safety measures that may be used to prevent complications . A close look at the apnea test in light of the neuro-intensive care requirements for SBI demonstrates that this procedure does not take into account the pathophysiology of brain injury and coma, namely those factors which can worsen cerebral ischemia, brain edema, and cerebral hypertension .

In the apnea test, the patient is disconnected from the ventilator to let the PaCO2 rise above a certain threshold or at least 20 mmHg above the baseline, while oxygenation is preserved via a catheter down the endotracheal tube delivering 100 percent O2 . Given the above information regarding the effect of CO2, the harmful effect of the apnea test, which induces hypercarbia in comatose patients with SBI is self-evident. The apnea-induced hypercarbia can easily push CBF to below the critical level of 1015ml/100g/min, below which cellular membrane depolarization and disruption of ionic homeostasis occur .

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