Factors Affecting the Time Taken to Determine Brain Death in Patients with Impending Brain Death

Young Soo Kim, Do Hyung Kim, Tae Won Yang, Minhwa Kim, Jeongrim Lee, Wonhyun Cho, Oh Young Kwon
Journal of Clinical Neurology 2020, 16 (4): 668-673

BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE: The increased demand for donor organs has made it crucial to keep the organs of patients with impending brain death (PWIBDs) suitable for transplantation during the process of determining brain death. This study aimed to identify the time taken to determine brain death (TT-BD) in PWIBDs and the associated influencing factors.

METHODS: This study analyzed data collected by the Korean Organ Donation Agency from 15 hospitals in the Yeongnam region of South Korea. There were 414 PWIBDs eligible for inclusion in this study. The data consisted of the TT-BD for PWIBDs and the potential variables influencing the TT-BD.

RESULTS: The mean age of the 414 PWIBDs was 48.9 years, and 120 of them were female (29.0%). The mean TT-BD was 8.5 days. The presence of spontaneous movements (SMs) and craniotomy significantly affected the TT-BD. The mean TT-BDs were 13.9 and 8.2 days in the PWIBDs with and without SMs, respectively, and 9.8 and 8.0 days in the PWIBDs with and without craniotomy, respectively.

CONCLUSIONS: The SMs in PWIBDs and a craniotomy performed immediately before starting the process of determining brain death seem to be related to lengthening the TT-BD.

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