There are thousands of brain dead patients living on life support systems. Most of them could be living normal lives if someone had performed CPR on them before their brains ceased functioning and this is why you need to consider basic life support online training.
Understanding Brain Death
There was a time when the brain stopping its normal physiological functions such as regulating body temperature meant instant death. However, medical advances have made it possible for someone to remain essentially alive even if their brain has stopped performing its basic functions. This is the simple definition of brain death.
Even if patients who do not get CPR after cardiac arrest, they can be kept alive for longer using these medical advances. The systems allow critical body functions to go on even after the brain stops functioning normally. These critical functions include:
- Regulating body temperature
- Keeping up a regular heartbeat (pulse)
- Maintaining normal blood pressure
- Ensuring basic nutritional requirements
- Regulating fluid levels in tissues and organ systems
How Does Someone Become Brain Dead?
Cardiologists say that if your brain gets no oxygen for a sufficiently long enough time, the brain will cease its functions. Experts agree that a normal brain will cease its functions if the heart stops beating for six minutes or longer. After the brain ceases functioning owing to oxygen deficiency, the brain loses all its functions. In this sense, the brain includes the brain stem that extends to the spinal cord. You can learn more about this by taking basic life support online training.
Why is the Brain so Sensitive to Circulation and Blood Supply?
The brain is a very sensitive organ. The way the brain is designed to work is something of a paradox. Even though the brain is responsible for controlling all sensations and bodily functions, there are some things it cannot do.
- The brain can sense pain from all around the body but it cannot sense injuries inflicted on its tissue.
- The cells that makeup brain tissue are incapable of storing oxygen. It only takes a few seconds of cutting off the oxygen supply for someone to feel the effects. Have you ever stood up too quickly and immediately had a sensation of dizziness? That was your brain sensing the loss of blood supply and therefore low oxygen.
- The brain is also incapable of storing up glucose. Glucose if the blood sugar which is metabolized in tissues (including the brain) to provide energy for the body to perform its normal functions. The inability of the brain to store glucose is the reason why people suffering from diabetes must not inject themselves with too much insulin. Insulin limits the amount of blood sugar. However, if the amount of glucose reaching the brain is too little, this can cause permanent damage and may even cause the patient to die.
CPR is Essential in Stopping Instances of Brain Death
CPR is the short form of the term cardiopulmonary resuscitation. Keeping in mind the facts about how the brain reacts when oxygen is curtailed, a patient should receive CPR as soon as the heart stops beating. If you perform CPR on a patient within 6 minutes of the cardiac arrest, this can save the brain tissue. They also have a great chance of recovering and even living a normal life.