Quote from MandyInMS
..how many times have you heard of a pt who was in a coma/brain dead that has eventually 'come back' and recalled many things..not often..but on rare occasions..
Ok Mandy....first of all the reason I quoted you was this. If someone is brain dead, then they are dead. Completely dead. Bought the farm. It is no different than if they are asystolic. At the point of brain death, organs may be harvested. Just because the heart has not stopped does not mean they are still alive. So there is no "coming back" from that. However, yes, patients may come back from a comatose state. But honestly, I have yet to ever see one that remembers things from the comatose state.
Now back to the subject at hand. Yes, I do talk to my patients. I don't think I have to explain why I talk to the alive and comatose ones. I don't always talk to the brain dead ones. As for why I occasionally talk to the brain dead ones....well, I guess it's more of a habit. You know, as an ICU nurse, you just get used to talking about what you're doing as you do it. But I don't talk to them as if they were alive....because they're NOT!
As for the ICU educator who always corrects students for doing that...well that's wrong. She should educate them that brain death IS death, but if they want to talk to the patient, then that is their right...no matter what their motive may be.
Also....no, the (true) definition of brain death does not vary from place to place....the term is just misused at times!
I've probably already done more brain death criteria testing in my short career in nursing, than other nurses have in 30 years!!! So if anyone has any questions, please feel free to ask.