One in five CPR survivors remembers the dying experience, and it’s not that bad
Inevitability death raises great concern among us mortals, but new research involving those who have come back from the brink reveals that the death experience may be less disturbing than many of us think. After interviewing patients who underwent cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) after cardiac arrest, the researchers found that one in five had a lucid state. death experiencesdespite being seemingly out of the reckoning.
The study involved 567 people whose hearts stopped beating while in hospital before doctors performed an emergency procedure to stop them from leaving. While less than 10 percent recovered enough to be discharged from the hospital, those who survived their ordeal reported feeling detached from their bodies and watching the event without pain or distress.
Others have said they were able to assess and evaluate their lives while apparently unconscious, in keeping with the old cliché about our lives flashing before our eyes as we die.
However, instead of simply relying on the testimonies of the near-deceased, the researchers also analyzed the brain wave activity patterns of the patients while they were undergoing CPR. In doing so, they discovered spikes in activity including gamma, delta, theta, alpha and beta waves, which typically occur during conscious processes. Surprisingly, these bouts of activity were present up to an hour after CPR, despite the patients not showing signs of life during this period.
“These recollective experiences and brain wave changes may be the first signs of a so-called near-death experience, and we have captured them for the first time in a large study,” said study author Sam Parnia. statement.
“Our results offer evidence that while near death and in a coma, people undergo a unique internal conscious experience, including stress-free awareness.”
The data were collected as part of the clinical trial AWARE II (AWAreness during REsuscitation) and are a continuation of the first AWARE studywhich was published in 2014. During this earlier round of research, the authors interviewed 101 CPR survivors, of whom 46 percent said they could recall the experience.
These memories consisted of seven main cognitive themes, including seeing a bright light, feeling deja-vu, recalling life events, and meeting family members. Some survivors said they saw animals or plants, while others said they were scared or experienced violence or persecution during their brief withdrawal from life.
In 2019, researchers presented findings from another round of interviews. Comparing the subjects’ experiences with a registry of cardiac arrest survivors, it was found that 95 percent of those resuscitated who reported memories of it experienced the feeling joy and peace86 percent saw the light and 54 percent reviewed their major life events. After being brought back from the brink of an eternal abyss, 95 percent said the event had transformed them in a positive way.
Commenting on the latest discoveries, Parnia explained that “these lucid experiences cannot be considered a trick of a disturbed or dying brain, but a unique human experience that occurs on the verge of death”. According to researchers, the brain can go through a process called disinhibition as we die, resulting in a flood of activity that allows access to the deepest layers of consciousness.
Exactly why this happens is hard to say, although Parnia insists that the phenomenon raises some “intriguing questions about human consciousness, even after death.”
The study was presented at American Heart Association Scientific Sessions November 6.
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