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Thread: Why brain dead means really dead

  1. #31
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    Re: Why brain dead means really dead

    Quote Originally Posted by year2late View Post
    How can you diagnosis brain death properly in a medically induced coma?
    I'm not a doctor but I think they hook up electrodes to the patient's scalp and if the person is alive equipment can read brain waves even in a coma. If the person is dead no waves are emitted..I think.
    Having opinions all over the map is a good sign of a person capable of autonomous thinking. Felix -2011

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    Re: Why brain dead means really dead

    Quote Originally Posted by Smeagol View Post
    I'm not a doctor but I think they hook up electrodes to the patient's scalp and if the person is alive equipment can read brain waves even in a coma. If the person is dead no waves are emitted..I think.
    It really isn't so easy.

    In order to even start the evaluation for brain death, many things need to be determined. The patient needs to have a normal core temp. The patient needs to be completely of neurmosucular blocking agents. The patient has to be free of (or have very low levels) of CNS depressants. In the case "brain dead patient wakes up" that I quoted, the patient had been in a medically induced coma which usually requires major CNS depressants and possibly even neuromuscular blocking agents (paralytics). So when I quoted the poster, my question was about diagnosing the individual that was in a medically induced coma. It is imposible by our standards to diagnose brain death under those conditions. It is not imposible to BE braindead under those conditions, just would not be diagnosable until those drugs were weaned of and out of the system.

    Most of the cases that I have seen where folks have woken up after "brain death" have been about not strictly following protocols.

  3. #33
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    Re: Why brain dead means really dead

    Quote Originally Posted by Aunt Spiker View Post
    Doctors are all profit motivated? They're all right?

    Which ones - the ones that created this situation to begin with or the ones who created the methods by which life can be sustained artificially?

    Doctors are humans - and can be wrong. No doubt, those incidences in which they are wrong are central to the family's thoughts and feelings, here. As is the fact that Doctors committed the child to the surgery and Doctors did the surgery . . . you know, it's a round Robin of Doctors this and Doctors that.
    How profitability fits into all of this isn't that straightforward anyway. Cases of coma or persistent vegetative state are bad for insurers because they are expensive and there is no end in sight. While medical practice salaries are derived primarily from insurance payouts, making things bad for insurers can have repercussions for medical practitioners whose hospitals are more profitable when they have good relations with insurance groups. There's a great deal of legal fussiness over how medical conditions are defined precisely because the distribution of capital among doctors, insurers, and pharmaceuticals depends strongly on the definitions.
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    Re: Why brain dead means really dead

    Quote Originally Posted by Smeagol View Post
    I usually get in trouble in this section but I'll give it another shot.

    (CNN) -- A person who is brain dead may appear alive -- there may be a heartbeat, they may look like they're breathing, their skin may still be warm to the touch. But doctors say there is no life when brain activity ceases.

    Why brain dead is really dead - CNN.com


    I'm sure you've heard the story of the little girl from California who went in for minor tonsil surgery and due to complications was eventually declared "brain dead." A very sad event indeed but further complicating the tragedy is her parents don't seem to understand what brain dead means.

    About 10 years ago a elderly family friend experienced a similar fate. A blood clot in his leg traveled through his body, lodged in his lungs and his wife found him passed out on the floor. He'd apparently gone about 20 minutes with no oxygen getting to his brain, was on a ventilator at the hospital and declared brain dead. He looked like he was sleeping and would even toss and turn a little but according to the doctors his brain had died and absent a miracle he could not regain consciousness. From a medical science perspective, respirators and feeding tubes only keep organs alive although the person is in all other respects deceased.

    Its not a pleasant topic to discuss but Jahi McMath's passing, as tragic as it is, I think presents a teaching opportunity.
    People who have been declared "brain dead" have come back to "brain alive" mode several times...

    Besides, the government should stay out of this families business and let them do as they see fit with their daughter.

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    Re: Why brain dead means really dead

    Quote Originally Posted by Mr.Nick View Post
    People who have been declared "brain dead" have come back to "brain alive" mode several times...

    Besides, the government should stay out of this families business and let them do as they see fit with their daughter.
    As I understand it, those were misdiagnosed patients. Of course, in acting upon a misdiagnosed brain death there's no correcting the mistake outside of a miracle.
    Having opinions all over the map is a good sign of a person capable of autonomous thinking. Felix -2011

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    Re: Why brain dead means really dead

    Quote Originally Posted by Smeagol View Post
    As I understand it, those were misdiagnosed patients. Of course, in acting upon a misdiagnosed brain death there's no correcting the mistake outside of a miracle.
    I'm sure it was a convenient excuse at the time lol.

    "It's a miracle"

    "No no, I was just wrong"

    Then I suppose the doctors in this case could be "just wrong" since there is precedent.

    I suppose Obamacare will make cases like this a lot more interesting....

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    Re: Why brain dead means really dead

    I think the case in question isn't about "brain dead" or the family not understanding. There's going to be one hell of a lawsuit coming, and they need to keep the "evidence" around.


    Quote Originally Posted by Jetboogieman View Post
    This issue has been plowed more times than Paris Hilton.
    Quote Originally Posted by Oborosen View Post
    Too bad we have to observe human rights.

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    Re: Why brain dead means really dead

    Quote Originally Posted by rocket88 View Post
    I think the case in question isn't about "brain dead" or the family not understanding. There's going to be one hell of a lawsuit coming, and they need to keep the "evidence" around.
    That's my point. I think more than anything else the public is learning a lot about brain death due to this case.

    From my own unfortunate observation of it with a family friend, brain dead people appear alive but sleeping, coughing, etc. It was an education for me at the time. They eventually took him off of the ventilator and his body quit breathing and heart stopped after a few days.
    Having opinions all over the map is a good sign of a person capable of autonomous thinking. Felix -2011

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    Re: Why brain dead means really dead

    Update on this:

    Brain-dead Calif teen undergoes surgery

    "She is doing very well,"
    Yeah, she's doing great except for the whole being brain dead thing...


    Quote Originally Posted by Jetboogieman View Post
    This issue has been plowed more times than Paris Hilton.
    Quote Originally Posted by Oborosen View Post
    Too bad we have to observe human rights.

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    Re: Why brain dead means really dead

    The word "miracle" is the single most abused word in the English language. Miracle comeback in sports, miracle finish in racing, It's a miracle we didn't get hurt, miracle weight loss, miracle cat fall from a tree, miracle achievement in science. Get the feeling there are no miracles?
    It's nothing more than X's and O's.

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