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A Brain Dead Person Can Hear

Brain death is a state in which the brain has completely stopped functioning. Although a brain-dead person cannot hear, his or her body can respond to external stimuli.

What is the difference between brain death and coma?

In a coma, the brain continues to be active and functioning, although at a very low level. However, in the case of brain death, the brain does not show any activity. There is no blood flow or oxygen to the brain, the pupils do not respond to stimuli, and there is no reaction to pain. Furthermore, the patient cannot breathe without medical help and there is no chance of recovery.

When can a person be disconnected?

Surely, when watching the evening news or checking Facebook, you have come across the phrase “his relatives decided to disconnect him.” But what does this mean and under what conditions can it occur?

In most cases, this situation occurs when a person becomes brain dead and requires artificial help to stay alive. The causes of this state can be diseases, such as cancer, or accidents.

Brain death is defined as the irreversible loss of all brain functions, including the brain stem, which is composed of the midbrain, pons, and medulla oblongata. These structures are the main communication route between the brain and the spinal cord, as well as the peripheral nerves, according to the Department of Anesthesia at Lohia Hospital.

What happens when the brain dies and the heart continues to beat?

Brain death occurs when a person’s brain stops working completely, but the body is kept alive by mechanical ventilators and medications. Brain dead people have no consciousness and cannot think or feel. They also cannot move or breathe, as the brain stops controlling the body’s automatic functions, such as heartbeat and blood pressure. Legally, brain dead people are considered dead. Although breathing and heartbeat can be maintained for a short period of time with the help of machines and medications, eventually all organs stop functioning. If a person wants to be an organ donor, doctors can use their organs for transplants, but the donation must be formalized before the organs stop working. It is important to note that no brain-dead person recovers, unlike people in a coma, who retain some brain function and sometimes recover.

What is the difference between brain death and vegetative state?

There is no difference between brain death and persistent vegetative state (PVS) that occurs after extensive damage to the brain. In PVE, a patient may show signs of consciousness, such as opening their eyes, but does not respond to their environment or stimuli.

Brain death is the permanent loss of functions in the brain stem. However, there is an important difference between EVP and brain death. In PVE, the patient still has functions in the brain stem, which is responsible for all vital functions, including breathing and regulating heart rate.

Therefore, a person in PVS can continue to breathe without the help of an artificial ventilator and may have some chance of recovery, despite having lost other brain functions. However, a brain dead person has no chance of recovery as the body cannot survive without an artificial support system.

Read about how to communicate with patients in a vegetative state.

What to do when a family member is brain dead?

Organ donation and transplantation is a complex process that involves both physical and emotional challenges. It is crucial to provide guidance and support to everyone involved to make quick decisions. The team in charge of providing emotional support to the relatives of brain dead patients must accompany them and resolve their doubts during the donation process. The interview with the donor’s family should be conducted respectfully and an emotional support expert can help clarify any concerns. If the donation is not spontaneous, the transplant coordination team may approach the family to discuss the issue in detail. It is important that the treating physician has certified the patient’s condition before conducting this interview, and the family’s privacy must be respected at all times. Decisions about donation should be made by the patient’s closest relatives. Although organ donation cannot be forced, it is important to remember that medical science offers a second chance at life to many people thanks to donation and transplant procedures. In difficult times like the diagnosis of brain death, we can be the hope of life for someone else. For more information, you can contact Transplant and Hepatobiliary Surgery at 8113668644.

What dies first is the brain or the heart?

In reality, biologically speaking, there has never been a single moment of death. Each death is really a series of mini-deaths, with different tissues fading at different scales. Choosing a definition of death is essentially a religious or philosophical question, according to Robert Veatch of the Kennedy Institute of Ethics. Sometimes this slow decline can have alarming consequences. An example is the Lazarus Sign, an automatic reflex first reported in 1984, which causes the dead to sit up, briefly raise their arms, and let them fall across their chests. The brain uses 25% of the body’s oxygen, so it is the first organ to die when we stop breathing. It happens because, although most reflexes are mediated by the brain, some are supervised by reflex arcs that travel through the spine. Throughout the life-death transition, skin and brain stem cells are known to remain alive for several days after a person has died. Live muscle stem cells have been found in two and a half week old corpses. Even our genes remain active long after we have taken our last breath. This brings us back to that perennial medical problem: if your heart is still beating, how can doctors say you’re dead?

How long can a brain dead person stay online?

Six neurologists from three different institutions have confirmed that Jahi is brain dead. This means that, according to the scientific community, she is dead. California law also states that when there is brain death, the person has died, said David Magnus, director of the Center for Biomedical Ethics at Stanford University.

It’s tragic, but Jahi died weeks ago. From a legal and ethical point of view, lifeless bodies should not be kept connected to respirators for a long time, since valuable resources are used that could be invested in living patients, according to Magnus in an interview with BBC Mundo.

The family must accept the situation and recognize that Jahi has died. Even if they keep her connected, sooner or later her heart will stop working, the specialist said.

The definition of brain death is very clear and any doctor who claims that he can revive a brain dead patient is not in his right mind.

Dr. J Randall Curtis, a professor at the University of Washington and an expert in intensive care, agreed with Magnus that the criteria for declaring brain death leave no room for doubt.

Brain death was defined in the 60s and 70s and is based on an examination that determines that the patient has no brain activity, including the brain stem, Curtis explained to BBC Mundo.

When I encounter cases like this, I explain to the family that the patient is dead, that the brain has suffered irreversible damage. The heart may continue to function for a while, but the part of the brain that makes us human has died, the expert said.

At most, we keep the bodies of brain-dead people functioning for a day or two so the family can say goodbye.

What happens when a brain-dead person is disconnected?

Brain death is an irreversible event that can occur in two ways: by the irreversible cessation of cardiorespiratory function (heart and lung) or by the irreversible cessation of brain function (brain death).

When a person experiences brain death, their brain is completely irreversibly destroyed, resulting in the cessation of all brain activity. In these cases, the brain does not receive blood or oxygen and the person dies. Although the organs can continue to function if the person is on a respirator, the heart and lungs stop functioning if the respirator is disconnected. Brain death is recognized as a way of dying from a medical, ethical and legal point of view, and the criteria to determine it are very strict.

It is important to note that brain death is different from vegetative coma. While people in a vegetative coma can remain in that state for many years without regaining consciousness, they are still able to breathe on their own. In contrast, a brain-dead person cannot breathe on their own once the ventilator is removed, since they are dead.

The diagnosis of brain death must be made by three different doctors, two of whom must be part of the team that cares for the patient in the Intensive Care Unit, and one of whom must be a neurologist or neurosurgeon. These doctors verify the lack of brain response to different stimuli and perform confirmatory tests to ensure that the brain is completely destroyed.

Most of the deceased cannot be organ donors due to certain requirements. It is necessary to die in a hospital, specifically in an intensive care unit, and death must be caused by the total and irreversible cessation of brain functions (brain death). With these criteria, only between 1% and 2% of all those who die in a hospital can be organ donors. Furthermore, one should not suffer from communicable diseases, serious infections that are difficult to treat, or cancer that may represent a risk to the recipients of the organs and tissues. Family authorization is also required. In cases of death due to unnatural causes, such as traffic accidents, suicides or assaults, court authorization is also required.


There is no specific time to disconnect a brain-dead person, since each case is unique and depends on the decision of the family members and the medical team.

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