While 1987 guidelines to determine brain death in children have served the pediatric community well for almost 25 years, the recommendations were based on limited experience and did not address many issues that currently plague medical professionals.

An update clarifies issues such as observation intervals, guidelines for the term newborn and use of ancillary testing for all age groups. It also provides clinicians with a more uniform approach to determining brain death in infants and children.

The pediatric section of the Society of Critical Care Medicine and the AAP Section on Critical Care, in conjunction with the Child Neurology Society, formed a multidisciplinary committee of medical and surgical subspecialists under the auspices of the American College of Critical Care Medicine to review and revise the 1987 guidelines. The committee reviewed neonatal and pediatric literature since 1987 and updated recommendations based on available published literature.

The clinical report, Guidelines for the...

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