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Top hospitals typically disregard brain-death guidelines

Many highly regarded hospitals in the U.S. routinely diagnose brain death without following the guidelines promulgated in 1995 by the American Academy of Neurology (AAN), according to a survey presented at the American Neurological Association (ANA) annual meeting (Kurt Samson, Neurology Today 11/6/07).

Researchers at the Massachusetts General Hospital surveyed the top 50 neurology and neurosurgery departments nationwide; 82 percent responded. Results showed that "adherence to the AAN guidelines varied widely, leading to major differences in practice, which may have consequences for the determination of death and initiation of transplant procedures," said Dr. David Greer.

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