There are inconsistencies in criteria and practice of brain death/death by neurologic criteria both internationally and within countries. The World Brain Death Project was created to achieve international harmonization, to improve the rigour of and minimize diagnostic errors in brain death/death by neurologic criteria.
Recommendations were developed based on extensive reviews of the literature and expert opinion of a large multi-disciplinary, international panel, including representation from intensive care (adult and pediatric), critical care nursing, neurocritical care, neurology and neurosurgery.
The scope of the work includes prerequisites and confounders to clinical testing, clinical testing including apnea testing, ancillary testing, and qualifications/documentation for brain death/death by neurologic criteria. Additional guidance is provided for brain death/death by 2 neurologic criteria in infants and children, and those treated with ECMO or targeted temperature management. The document also discusses religious and legal issues and identifies future research ideas to advance knowledge in this area.