Spinal Reflexes in Brain Death Cases

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Brain death is defined as the permanent absence of all cortical and brain stem reflexes. A wide range of spontaneous or reflex movements that are considered medullary reflexes are observed in heart beating cases that appear brain dead, which may create uncertainty about the diagnosis of brain death and cause delays in deceased-donor organ donation process. We determined the frequency and type of medullary reflexes and factors affecting their occurrence in brain dead cases (1).Introduction and Objective: In incidents with the diagnosis of brain death, it is crucial that the whole crew is well-informed about spinal reflexes to increase the transplantation success. It’s aimed that spinal reflexes are known by all personnel by provided training.Method: This study has been done by evaluating 30 patients hospitalized in Nevsehir Public Hospital’s Intensive care unit in the years between 2012–2017.FindingsResults of evaluations:*In 10 incidents, 1‐2 seconds of Plantar Flexion (33.3%)*In 1 incident, 2‐3 seconds of Myoklonus (3,3%)*In 4 incidents, 1‐2 seconds of undulating toe Reflex (13,3%)*In 1 incident, 4 seconds Lazarus (3.3%)ResultsIn incidents with the diagnosis of brain death, it’s crucial that whole crew is well informed about spinal reflexes to increase the the transplantation success. Spinal reflexes seen on brain death may cause negative effects on acquaintances of the family and medical personnel for diagnosing of brain death. The spinal reflexes seen on brain death must be well understood and comprehended by educated neurology specialists, anaesthesia and intensive care unit specialists, transplantation coordinators and medical personnel. The spinal reflexes on brain death shouldn’t pose an obstacle for transplantation. The study shows us that the ratio of the spinal reflexes seen on brain death is much.References1. Hosseini, Mahsa Sadat, et al. Factors affecting the occurrence of spinal reflexes in brain dead cases. Exp Clin Transplant, 2015, 13.4: 309–312.

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