Skip to main content

Neurological Determination of Death

In order to be a deceased organ donor in BC, a person needs to be in an intensive care unit (ICU) and on a ventilator (breathing machine). Donation is only considered after all life-saving methods to save a patient’s life have been tried.

What is  Neurological Determination of Death (NDD)?

Neurological determination of death (also referred to as ''brain death") means the brain has permanently lost all function and a diagnosis of death using neurological criteria has been determined.

As a result of a severe brain injury or trauma, the brain begins to die due to the absence of blood flow and oxygen. 
When the brain dies, the patient can no longer breathe, move, or think. Neurological death is permanent and irreversible.

How is an NDD diagnosis reached?

Two physicians perform a series of standard tests designed to assess the function of the brain.

What organs can be donated?

The option of what organs can be donated will be different for every patient, depending on their health and medical history.

Patients who meet the NDD criteria can be assessed to donate:

  • Heart
  • Lungs
  • Liver
  • Kidneys
  • Pancreas
  • Corneas
SOURCE: Neurological Determination of Death ( )
Page printed: . Unofficial document if printed. Please refer to SOURCE for latest information.

Copyright © BC Transplant. All Rights Reserved.

    Copyright © 2017 Provincial Health Services Authority