What is brain death?

Brain death is the complete loss of brain function. Heart, lungs, central nervous system ... stop working, can't recover.

Brain death is the complete loss of brain function. Heart, lungs, central nervous system . stop working, can't recover.

Doctor  Duong Van Tam, Central Acupuncture Hospital, said the USSH Library's MeSH system defines "brain dead" including brain stem death. The brain stem is located below the cerebellum in front of the cerebellum, which connects the brain to the spinal cord and controls automatic functions such as breathing, digestion, heart rate and blood pressure. This is called complete loss of brain function, including involuntary activity necessary to sustain life.

A person is considered brain dead when heart, lung, central nervous system activities stop working, cannot recover, only life support devices help these functions continue to function.

There are many causes of brain death such as bleeding in the brain, subarachnoid bleeding, meningitis, traumatic brain injury . Patients with complete brain death will be returned to the family for burial, or the family can donate their organs.

Picture 1 of What is brain death? Photo 1 of What is brain death?
Brain death is when the brain's central function, control of breathing reflexes, heart rate, reflexes, pupils and other reflexes no longer exist.(Photo: Washington Post).

In fact, in Vietnam in particular and Eastern countries in general, the concept of " brain dead" is still quite new, without specific standards and principles. Many hospitalized patients have results of flat EEG, poor brain, brain stem damage, accompanied by stiff movement, stretched limbs, unconsciousness, no light reflection. , pinching is not painful . However, their body is still active, the heart is still beating, there is a function of excretion, digestion . doctors are still diagnosed as "brain death".

Such cases are understood as incomplete brain death , properly referred to as " hardening of brain loss ". For example, a person with cerebellum dies but has a live brain stem, causing the heart rate and breathing to continue to function without help.

"Brain hardening" is the result of very serious brain damage , neurodegenerative disorders, metabolic disorders or congenital abnormalities in the brain. Patients with hardening of the brain can lead to vegetative or coma.

Coma is a prolonged state of unconsciousness in which the person cannot be awakened, unable to react normally to pain, light or sound stimuli, losing the normal wake-sleep cycle. Alive plants are patients who are always awake and open eyes, however, they lose consciousness, do not have any reaction to all stimuli. They do not listen, do not speak, do not move, do not eat, still have a heavy duty of excretion and digestion, but they cannot control the urination. The entire instinctive response of a plant person is maintained, including heart contractions, breathing, coughing, swallowing, and sneezing reactions. A plant person can live continuously for years with water, milk and nutrients passed through the catheter.

Patients with "brain stiffness" are often returned by doctors, untreated, living plants for many years. However, according to Oriental medicine, the disease can still be treated to improve motor function and other functions to maintain cognition and body life. The treatment is a combination of methods that affect acupuncture points, meridians such as electromagnet, magnet, massage, acupressure. The course of treatment is continuous and requires many years of perseverance, the results cannot be foreseen. Some patients after treatment can move again, have good pupils, have cognitive manifestations.

In a coma, the patient will be able to maintain life in many ways such as keeping the airway open, tracheostomy, intubation, mechanical ventilation (if necessary), ensuring circulatory functions such as medication heart, maintain heart rate, maintain electrolyte balance, alkaline acid balance, adjust blood pressure . However, it is difficult to determine how long the patient will be in a coma in this condition, possibly several hours, months. , even a few years.

A number of cases in Vietnam and around the world recorded the phenomenon of coma suddenly waking up. That can only be called the miracle of medicine but not explained.