Gaceta médica de México
versão impressa ISSN 0016-3813
LOPEZ HERNANDEZ, Estela; JARAMILLO MAGANA, José de Jesús e SOLIS, Hugo. Alteraciones fisiopatológicas en la muerte encefálica: Su importancia para decisiones de manejo y donación de órganos. Gac. Méd. Méx [online]. 2004, vol.140, n.2, pp. 199-209. ISSN 0016-3813.
Technological advances in the medical area have allowed for development of useful techniques to treat patients with diverse diseases. For example, at intensive care units this technology allows maintenance blood flow and tissue oxygenation even when brain death (BD) is already established and the individual cannot function. The function of heart, lungs, and other organs can be maintained with different devices, but maintenance of cerebral functions is not not yet possible. Therefore, when a subject fulfills legal and medical requirements for BD, we must be clear that any patient procedure will not keep him alive, although the subject looks alive due to support devices; when BD is present, death must be accepted. Obviously, death is a difficult process to accept, including for health personnel. We consider that it is very important for medical and nursing personnel directly responsible for patient care to receive knowledge on BD and recognize the alternatives with regard this situation, to be able to provide specific orientation when it is required. This paper is a review of the BD concept, main physiopathologic changes, and some possible treatment alternatives to maintain the patient as a potential organ donor.
Palavras-chave : Brain death; physiopathologic changes; organ donors.