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Journal of Clinical and Applied Neurosciences                            Volume 1; Issue 1                                   Jan-Jun 2015  
REVIEW ARTICLE
Brain Death - a review
Edward Oluwole KOMOLAFE, Fred Sunday IGE-ORHIONKPAIBIMA, Oluwafemi
Funso OWAGBEMI, Ibironke Oluwakemi OGUNBAMERU

AFFILIATION
Neurosurgery Unit
Department of Surgery
Obafemi Awolowo University
Teaching Hospitals Complex
Ile-Ife, Osun State, NIGERIA

CORRESPONDING AUTHOR
Edward O KOMOLAFE
P. O. Box 1836 Lagere Post Office, Ile-Ife, Osun State NIGERIA

E-mail: eokomolafe@hotmail.com
Phone: +234 803 344 7326




DISCLOSURES: NONE



ABSTRACT
Background
: Brain death has been used synonymously with brainstem failure, irreversible coma, cerebral death, and cortical death. It became popular and of great interest with improvement in trauma care and the recent advances in resuscitative and life support technology.
Objective: To review the traditional concepts and criteria used to determine death.
Methodology: The literature was searched using the Pubmed, Medline and other search engines. Relevant literatures were reviewed and presented.
Result: These criteria are found to be constantly reviewed and sometimes revised with further technological advancements taking note of cultural, philosophical and religious aspects, as well as, autonomous principles of the local community.
Conclusion: Every physician, particularly those in the neurosciences, should be able to recognise, and confirm brain death as well as take decisions on what to do next. This is important because patients who are dead should not be treated as though they are alive, thereby, wasting the limited but expensive medical resources and facilities. Brain death is a clinical diagnosis without the need for costly and sophisticated equipment. However, in some situations, ancillary confirmatory tests such as the EEG and blood flow studies may be indicated.

Keywords:
Brain stem function, cardiopulmonary resuscitation, comatose, confirmatory testing, reflexes

Received: 1st February, 2015Accepted: 13th February, 2015