Ever wondered what might happen when we die? Researchers have interviewed those whose hearts stopped following their cardiac arrest and revealed their near-death experiences.
In a study obtained by The Sun, nearly 40% of people undergoing CPR after cardiac arrest had memories or dreamlike experiences that made them feel that things were happening around them.
Other results showed signs of brain activity. According to electroencephalogram (EEG) scans, this still happened up to an hour after their heart had stopped and administered CPR.
‘The brain can show signs of electrical recovery’
According to Dr Sam Parnia, a critical care physician at NYU Langone in New York City: “Doctors have long thought that the brain suffers permanent damage about 10 minutes after the heart stops supplying it with oxygen. Our work found that the brain can show signs of electrical recovery long into ongoing CPR.
“This is the first large study to show that these recollections and brain wave changes may be signs of universal, shared elements of so-called near-death experiences.”
The study examined 567 patients at 25 different hospitals in the UK and US. Between May 2017 and March 2020, they all received CPR after suffering cardiac arrests.
‘I remember the shock’
28 of the 53 survivors were interviewed and were able to recall their near-death experiences. Two of them emerged from their coma during CPR while two others emerged during the post-resuscitation period.
One of the survivors said they could “feel someone doing something on my chest”. They added: “I couldn’t feel the actual compressions, but I could feel someone rubbing quite hard. It was quite painful.”
Another survivor said they could feel them putting the two electrodes to their chest and “remembered the shock”.
Three experienced weird dreams, with one recalling them walking into a puddle and “melting into the pavement”.
Six of them, however, were able to remember how the experience of death felt as if they were no longer in their body and “floated without weight or physicality”. They also said they felt they were “observed the scene that was taking place below me” as doctors worked on their body.
Another felt as if they were entering a tunnel. “The first feeling was a feeling of intense peace. It was so calm and serene with an incredible amount of tranquillity. All of my worries, thoughts, fears, and opinions were gone. The intensity of the tranquillity was so incredible and overwhelming that there was no fear in what I was experiencing. I had no fear about where I was going and what to expect when I arrived there.”
‘I caught glimpses of my life and felt, love, joy, and sadness, all pouring into me’
One of the ongoing stereotypes when facing a near-death experience is that memories of people’s memories from their life flash right in front of them.
This happened to one of the survivors who said they “caught glimpses of my life and felt, love, joy, and sadness, all pouring into me”. They explained that each of the images was of themselves, but “from the standpoint of a being standing with me or looking on”.
They said they were shown the consequences of their life and the thousands of people whom they had interacted with. That person was able to feel how those people felt about them and how they impacted them.
Others were able to see their loved ones, with one person saying they were able to see their dad. Another heard their dead grandparent telling them “you need to go back”.
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