Dr. David Greer, assistant professor of neurology at Harvard Medical School, directed a national survey of the leading neurology and neurosurgery programs to analyze policies for making brain death declarations. Though American medical institutions are not required to follow parameters for determining brain death, as published by the American Academy of Neurology, Dr. Greer’s report shows significant variation in the guidelines at surveyed institutions.
Dr. Greer shares his perspectives, in the context of his research, with host Dr. Mark Nolan Hill. What are the two most common pitfalls in the determination of brain death? At a hospital where a proper determination cannot be made, what is the proper protocol?