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Medical Science Monitor Basic Research


eISSN: 2329-0358

A brain dead woman, giving birth in the 23rd week of pregnancy, used as an organ donor: A case report

Aleksandra Woderska, Milosz Jasinski, Dorota Arszynska-Lopatka, Maciej Slupski, Tatiana Janiszewska, Zbigniew Wlodarczyk

Ann Transplant 2012; 17(1): 113-116

DOI: 10.12659/AOT.882643

Available online:

Published: 2012-03-31

Background:    Maternal brain death during pregnancy is an exceptional case when somatic support might be continued despite diagnosed death. There are only a few cases of maternal brain death during pregnancy reported in the literature and detailed data regarding the frequency of such cases are lacking.
    Case Report:    The case of a 40-year-old woman, diagnosed brain dead due to a subarachnoid and intracranial hemorrhage in the 21st week of pregnancy is presented. The patient was admitted to the neurosurgery department and then to the intensive care unit, where brain death was diagnosed. The medical team decided to perform a caesarean section, and a living female infant was delivered. After delivery, maternal kidneys were recovered and successfully transplanted.
    Conclusions:    This challenging case indicates that prompt diagnosis of maternal brain death is required to facilitate decision-making regarding somatic support prolongation to save the life of the fetus, as well as to allow procurement of the maternal organs.

Keywords: brain dead, pregnant, organ donor