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Brain Death Guidelines Vary Widely at Top US Neurological Hospitals

October 11, 2007 (Washington, DC) - A new study shows wide variation in brain death guidelines at leading neurological hospitals in the United States, differences that might have implications for determination of death and initiation of transplant procedures, the researchers say.

Under the Uniform Determination of Death Act, guidelines for brain death determination can be developed at the institutional level, opening the door to variability in practice, David M. Greer, MD, from Massachusetts General Hospital, in Boston, told Medscape Neurology & Neurosurgery. Although there are guidelines from the American Academy of Neurology (AAN) on brain death determination, these are not binding at the local level.

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