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Flashcards in 6.9 Determination of Death Deck (8)
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Can some patients still have electrical activity present 10 minutes after your first death examination?



What are the two circumstances that can determine when death has occurred.

There are clear and obvious signs of death (rigor mortis, decomposition)
Clinical criteria are met as follows:
no signs of breathing for 1 full minute AND
no central site pulse (carotid or femoral) AND
pupils dilated and un-reactive to light AND
REPEAT above in 10 minutes AND
3 lead taken and must show a Asystole


What do you do if during determining death your monitor still shows activity on the ECG?

Repeat ECG in another 10 minutes.


What special circumstances can happen with a patient fitted with a pace maker when determining death?

Electrical activity may still be generated for many hours after death.


Why do you repeat the checks in 10 minutes from initial thoughts that a patient has passed away?

Because some patients have been known to regain ROSC 5 - 10 minutes after resuscitation has been stopped.


Can you determine death if there is uncertainty in your breathing, pulse or ECG checks?



Can ambulance staff issue death certificates?

No - only doctors can.


What must you ensure with regards to documentation when determining a patient is deceased?

GOOD paperwork

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