Neurological determination of death in isolated brainstem lesions: A case report to highlight the issues involved

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Journal of the Intensive Care Society


The neurological determination of death in patients with isolated brainstem lesions or by disruption of the posterior cerebral circulation is uncommon and many intensivists may never see such a case in their career. It is also the only major difference between the “whole brain” and “brain stem” formulations for the neurological determination of death. We present a case of a patient with infarction of the structures supplied by the posterior cerebral circulation in whom death was diagnosed using neurological criteria, to illustrate the issues involved. We also suggest that international consensus may be achieved if ancillary tests, such as CT angiography, are made mandatory in this situation o demonstrate loss of blood flow in the anterior cerebral circulation as well the posterior circulation.

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ePub ahead of print