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A Definition of Irreversible Coma

A Definition of Irreversible Coma Our primary purpose is to define irreversible coma as a new criterion for death. There are two reasons why there is need for a definition: (1) Improvements in resuscitative and supportive measures have led to increased efforts to save those who are desperately injured. Sometimes these efforts have only partial success so that the result is an individual whose heart continues to beat but whose brain is irreversibly damaged. The burden is great on patients who suffer permanent loss of intellect, on their families, on the hospitals, and on those in need of hospital beds already occupied by these comatose patients. (2) Obsolete criteria for the definition of death can lead to controversy in obtaining organs for transplantation. Irreversible coma has many causes, but we are concerned here only with those comatose individuals who have no discernible central nervous system activity. If the characteristics can be defined in satisfactory terms, http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png JAMA American Medical Association

A Definition of Irreversible Coma

JAMA , Volume 205 (6) – Aug 5, 1968

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Publisher
American Medical Association
Copyright
Copyright © 1968 American Medical Association. All Rights Reserved. Applicable FARS/DFARS Restrictions Apply to Government Use.
ISSN
0098-7484
eISSN
1538-3598
DOI
10.1001/jama.1968.03140320031009
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Our primary purpose is to define irreversible coma as a new criterion for death. There are two reasons why there is need for a definition: (1) Improvements in resuscitative and supportive measures have led to increased efforts to save those who are desperately injured. Sometimes these efforts have only partial success so that the result is an individual whose heart continues to beat but whose brain is irreversibly damaged. The burden is great on patients who suffer permanent loss of intellect, on their families, on the hospitals, and on those in need of hospital beds already occupied by these comatose patients. (2) Obsolete criteria for the definition of death can lead to controversy in obtaining organs for transplantation. Irreversible coma has many causes, but we are concerned here only with those comatose individuals who have no discernible central nervous system activity. If the characteristics can be defined in satisfactory terms,

Journal

JAMAAmerican Medical Association

Published: Aug 5, 1968

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