Harvard criteria

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Harvard criteria2016-12-12T01:46:17+00:00

Harvard criteria 

Harvard criteria image from New Medical Terms



A group of four parameters delineated by the Harvard Medical School ad hoc committee for irreversible coma, which is intimately intertwined with irreversible brain damage and loss of cerebral activity. 

Harvard criteriafor brain death

• Unreceptivity and unresponsiveness

• No movement or breathing

• No reflexes

• Flat electroencephalogram (confirmatory) 

In addition, the following must be present 

• Body temperature ≥ 32º C

• Absence of CNS depressants

American jurispractice views brain death as equivalent to death and that all artificial support systems sustaining heart, respiratory, and metabolic functions can be legally stopped.

Synonyms Brain death, cerebral death, Harvard criteria for brain death 

Reference JAMA. 2009;301(11):1172-1174. doi:10.1001/jama.2009.22

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