What exactly goes on in the mind of someone who is in the middle of being resuscitated following a cardiac arrest ?
Published in the journal ‘Resuscitation’, the new study – which was headed up by a team of researchers from the US and the UK – monitored 567 patients who experienced cardiac arrest while in hospital.
Sadly, only around 10 percent of those studied were successfully resuscitated, but those who survived were able to offer some intriguing insights into their experiences.
Out of the 28 interviewed, 11 described memories and perceptions indicating that they had still experienced some level of conscious awareness during the cardiac arrest.
6 of the patients experienced what was described as a “transcendent recalled experience of death” – or what’s more commonly known as a near-death experience.
Brain scans during this time also indicated that activity had continued even after the heart had stopped.
“There’s nothing more extreme than cardiac arrest because they’re literally teetering between life and death, they’re in a deep coma and they don’t respond to us physically at all,” said lead study author Dr. Sam Parnia of the department of medicine at NYU Langone Health.
“What we’re able to show is that up to 40% of people actually have a perception of having been conscious to some extent.”