Brain Death Declaration - A Nursing Perspective


Co-Sponsored by



Brain Death Declaration: A Nursing Perspective


Thursday, November 17, 2016
2:00 - 3:00 pm Eastern Time  


Hedi Aguiar, RN, MSN, CCRN-K - Moderator
Director, Programs & Communications
Organ Donation and Transplantation Alliance 

Mary McKenna Guanci, MSN, RN, CNRN, CSRN - Speaker
Neuroscience Intensive Care Clinical Nurse Specialist
Massachusetts General Hospital
Boston, MA



Precise and accurate determination of death is crucial from medical, ethical and legal standpoints. However, variability in practice leads to confusion and uncertainty among care providers and patients’ families. Nurses play a significant role in the care of the patient who is undergoing brain death testing and with the patient’s family who needs to make a rapid transition from cure to end of life. Having a clear understanding of brain death can help nurses ensure continued collaborative care for the patient for whom brain death testing is being considered, provide support for family members who are in crisis and unclear about the prognosis and end of life care.

Target Audience:  

Critical Care Nurses; Neuroscience nurses; Organ Procurement Coordinators

Learning Objectives:

At the end of the webinar, participants should be able to

  • Identify at least two tests performed during the brain death exam.
  • Name those conditions that mimic brain death.
  • State the nurse’s role in the management of the patient during brain death determination.
  • Identify strategies that will aid the family in understanding a brain death diagnosis.