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Here is a quick mnemonic “CARDIAC DEATH to remember about Brain Death In Coma

This can be valuable for patients as well as medical doctors, nurses & students doing their clinical rounds. You can also find it very useful for med exams like USMLE, MBBS, NEET PG, FMGE, NExT, MCAT & NCLEX exams

Brain Death In Coma : How To Remember Easily ?

  • C – Criteria for diagnosis of brain death should adhere to consensus standards.
  • A – Artificial means are used to maintain cardiac activity and somatic function.
  • R – Remember : Delay clinical testing for at least 24 hours if brain death is caused by cardiac arrest.
  • D – Diabetes insipidus may develop hours or days after other signs of brain death appear.
  • I – Irreversible cessation of cerebral and brain-stem function is essential for brain death diagnosis.
  • A – Apnea testing confirms brain death if no respiratory effort is observed.
  • C – Cortical destruction and global brainstem damage are key elements in brain death.
  • D – Deep coma and unresponsiveness to stimulation indicate widespread cortical destruction.
  • E – Ethically and legally, brain death is recognized as equivalent to death.
  • A – Absent pupillary light reaction and corneal reflexes indicate brainstem damage.
  • T – Total cerebral damage may be confirmed using an isoelectric EEG.
  • H – High Pco2 levels stimulate respiration during an apnea test.


Dr. Arin Nandi

Passionate About Medical Science & Helping Future Doctors Achieve Top Ranks In Medical Exams. He is professionally a dentist as well as a public health expert from JIPMER (1), (2)working in health department