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Boussignac CPAP system for brain death confirmation with apneic test in case of acute lung injury/adult respiratory distress syndrome – series of cases

Authors Wieczorek A, Gaszynski T

Received 19 October 2014

Accepted for publication 29 November 2014

Published 17 June 2015 Volume 2015:11 Pages 961—965


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Professor Garry Walsh

Andrzej Wieczorek,1 Tomasz Gaszynski2

1Department of Anesthesia and Intensive Care, Medical University of Lodz, Lodz, Poland; 2Department of Emergency Medicine and Disaster Medicine, Medical University of Lodz, Lodz, Poland

Introduction: There are some patients with severe respiratory disturbances like adult respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) and suspicion of brain death, for whom typical performance of the apneic test is difficult to complete because of quick desaturation and rapid deterioration without effective ventilation. To avoid failure of brain death confirmation and possible loss of organ donation another approach to apneic test is needed. We present two cases of patients with clinical symptoms of brain death, with lung pathology (acute lung injury, ARDS, lung embolism and lung infection), in whom apneic tests for recognizing brain death were difficult to perform. During typical performance of apneic test involving the use of oxygen catheter for apneic oxygenation we observed severe desaturation with growing hypotension and hemodynamic destabilization. But with the use of Boussignac CPAP system all necessary tests were successfully completed, confirming the patient’s brain death, which gave us the opportunity to perform procedures for organ donation. The main reason of apneic test difficulties was severe gas exchange disturbances secondary to ARDS. Thus lack of positive end expiratory pressure during classical performance of apneic test leads to quick desaturation and rapid hemodynamic deterioration, limiting the observation period below dedicated at least 10-minute interval. 
Conclusion: The Boussignac CPAP system may be an effective tool for performing transparent apneic test in case of serious respiratory disturbances, especially in the form of acute lung injury or ARDS.

Keywords: brain death, organ donor, ARDS, ALI, Boussignac CPAP

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