Apnea testing to confirm brain death in children

K M Outwater, M A Rockoff
Critical Care Medicine 1984, 12 (4): 357-8
The diagnosis of brain death requires absence of respiratory effort. Various protocols for apnea testing in adults have been reported; however, similar protocols have not been established for children. The technique of apneic oxygenation was used on 10 brain-dead children. PaO2 remained over 200 torr in all patients, and the mean PaCO2 increase was 4 torr/min. Five min of apneic oxygenation is a safe and effective means of evaluating respiratory activity in initially normocapnic children thought to be brain-dead.

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