Purpose: Brain death evaluation and declaration can be intimidating and daunting for health care providers including physicians, nurses, and trainees, and families. Evaluating pediatric patients for brain death requires an in depth understanding of the pathophysiology of severe acute brain injury, technical aspects of how to perform the examination and evaluation, and experience communicating with families under these circumstances. There are nuances and guidelines to consider, and there are added considerations for working with families and communicating about brain death, a topic that has poor public understanding and often misconceptions. During this webinar, we will discuss recommended practices for pediatric brain death evaluation and declaration, clinical and ethical challenges, and effective communication strategies.
Objectives: At the end of the webinar, participants should be able to:
- Identify the differences in brain death declaration practices and guidelines between children and adults.
- Explain the considerations for various age groups, e.g. infants vs. children, when declaring brain death, and indications for ancillary testing.
- Describe effective communication strategies when working with family members of a child with severe acute brain injury undergoing brain death evaluation.