Your patient is a 23-year-old female with a history of headaches. This morning she was experiencing a really bad headache as her boyfriend was driving her to the university. He thought she was sleeping and by the time they got to the school, 45 minutes later, she was not waking up. She was diagnosed with a cerebral aneurysm and you are taking care of her in the Neurological ICU.
- What testing do you expect to be performed to diagnose brain death?
- What is the procedure when a patient is determined to be brain dead?
- Who should approach the family about organ donation?
After determining the patient is brain dead, the physician should notify the patient’s next of kin. The physician privileged to determine the brain death provides a certification, which indicates the time of death (Aboubakr & Alameda, 2020). Two physicians should ensure that clinical evaluations meet the required standards if the patient is an organ donor. According to Anwar and Lee (2019), the physicians should keep the ventilator for several hours or days to preserve the functionality of the vital organs, like the liver and kidney, as they prepare for donor procurement. If the patient is not a donor, the physician disconnects the ventilator but should seek the family’s consent if they want to be present during that procedure (Anwar & Lee, 2019). Worth noting, the attending health professionals should handle the family sensitively by preparing them psychologically about the possibility of disturbing clinical activity during the process.