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OPENPediatrics Releases New Continuing Education Course: Brain Death Examination

OPENPediatrics is pleased to announce the launch of our latest continuing education course, Brain Death Examination. In this course, participants will learn about how to systematically approach making the diagnosis of brain death in patients, including the required components of the clinical examination with a dedicated focus on how to perform an apnea test. This course will offer both nursing and physician continuing education credits. Clincians can also earn Maintenace of Certification credit through the American Board of Pediatrics, American Board of Anesthesiology and the American Board of Internal Medicine for completion of this course.

Determination of brain death is an uncommon procedure in pediatrics. Several brain death guidelines throughout the world recommend that a physician who specializes in neurological disorders (e.g. neurologist or neurosurgeon) be a part of the diagnostic determination of brain death in hospitalized patients. The American Academy of Neurology states that "it seems reasonable to require that all physicians making a determination of brain death be intimately familiar with brain death criteria and have a demonstrated competence in this complex examination."

As such, dedicated educational activities related to diagnosing brain death should be available to clinicians which describe how to perform a clinical brain examination in their patients and their ability to describe where ancillary tests may be helpful in supporting the diagnosis of brain death. Bedside nurses must also have a working knowledge of the steps necessary for brain death determination to be able to anticipate patient needs during the test as well as to help advocate for parent, patients and families while caring for these patients at the bedside. 

To access the Brain Death Examination course, click here. You can also visit https://edx.openpediatrics.org/courses and access this course from the list of courses. 

Be sure to check out these additional Continuing Education courses from OPENPediatrics:

Boston Children's Hospital is accredited by the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC), the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education (ACPE), and the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME) to provide continuing medical education for the healthcare team.


1. Jarrah RJ, Ajizian SJ, Agarwal S, Copus SC, Nakagawa TA. Developing a standard method for apnea testing in the determination of brain death for patients on venoarterial extracorporeal membrane oxygenation: a pediatric case series. Pediatr Crit Care Med. 2014;15(2):e38-43.