Lege Artis Medicinae

[Problems of organ transplantation - donor care]

RETTEGHY Tibor1

OCTOBER 30, 1991

Lege Artis Medicinae - 1991;1(16)

[The development of the definition of brain death which is fundamental in cadaver organ removal for transplantation purposes is reviewed. Brain stem death, an alternative term for brain death is based primarily on clinical findings namely the irreversible cessation of cephalic reflexes and spontaneous breathing. Hypothermia, metabolic and endocrine abnormalities, prolonged muscle relaxant, sedative or hypnotic drug action should be excluded. The early recognition of potential donor and the maintenance of basic life function at the Intensive Care Unit and the operating theater are essential for the good function of the transplanted organs. Normal homeostasis should be maintained by ensuring adequate fluid intake, good circulation and urine output. Brain death potential donors can exhibit persistent spinal reflexes and spontaneous movement wich may be erroneously interpreted as signs of life. The problem of the determination of brain death under 4 year of age is also discussed although law does not allow to use them as potentional donors in Hungary. ]

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  1. Országos Traumatológiai Intézet Anaesthesiológiai Osztály

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