When is a patient dead after flatlining?

In 'surprising' findings, a study tracks how the heart can struggle to restart as death unfolds.

When life-sustaining treatments are withdrawn in a critically ill patient and the heart has stopped pumping blood, the heart will appear to briefly restart itself in 14% of patients, a study suggests.


The analysis, published in The New England Journal of Medicine, was undertaken to confirm when a patient can safely be declared dead and organs harvested for donation.

Researchers used electrocardiograms and blood pressure measurements to assess the typical practice of waiting