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A couple more points to understand

As medical people, we often lack the ability to share key concepts with our patients. I would ask this one question. If blood was no longer flowing to the brain, would this family accept that she is gone? So many of the avg citizen just think that a brain being alive has to do with it's neurological conduction pathways i.e. electrical signals, that perhaps if we just shock it those brain waves will come back. It is so much more than this. I would suggest explaining more about this process and not just whether or not a person passed or failed a test. Also, I have read where many people believe the brain must still be alive because the heart is still beating. I think it is important to explain about the heart's own pacemaker and how it and other organs still function in spite of the brain being dead. My own mother was pronounced brain dead and it wasn't until many years into my nursing career did I understand that blood no longer flowed. This was a hard reality but one at the point took some doubt away from me which I still had. It was also, 10 plus years when my father asked "what if we had just shocked her brain, could we have gotten brain waves back?" We must do more to educate the public about what the term brain death truly means and does not mean. Great blog. Keep up the work. I am hoping that at least in her dying, this young girl will have sparked many important kitchen table conversations in our country.

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