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Enfermería Global

On-line version ISSN 1695-6141


FREITAS, Rosane Almeida de et al. Brain death diagnosis in victims of traffic accidents: process analysis. Enferm. glob. [online]. 2018, vol.17, n.50, pp.107-130.  Epub Apr 01, 2018. ISSN 1695-6141.


Victims of external causes of trauma, caused either by traffic accidents or by violence in general, are mostly youngsters who evolve to brain death and potential donors. Considering that the time to determine brain death may interfere on the quality of the offered organs, the purpose of this study was to analyze the period of brain death diagnosis process.

Material and Methods

It is a retrospective, descriptive study on brain death diagnosis process and its duration in patients who are fatal victims due to external causes of trauma in a city in the Northwest of Paraná, Brazil, ranging from January to December 2012.


The average of time for the period between the coma confirmation and the initial protocol for brain death determination in the four hospitals consisted of 18.90±13.62 hours; the average of protocol closure with Complementary Examination for the four studied hospitals consisted of 12±8 hours, and closure with clinical proof indicated 10±6 hours.


The data presented describe a failure in the entire brain death process, since coma detection until brain death diagnosis protocol closure, considerably increasing diagnosis time.

Keywords : Brain Death; External Causes; Diagnosis; Traffic Accidents.

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