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Study | Patients Recall Near-Death After CPR

Health

Light at the end of the tunnel. | Image by lassedesignen, Shutterstock

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A study led by researchers at NYU Grossman School of Medicine claims that one in five people who survive CPR is able to recall the experience despite being unconscious.

After observing the near-death experiences of 567 men and women who were resuscitated between May 2017 and March 2020 in the United States and the United Kingdom, 20% experienced what the study calls “lucid death.”

After surviving CPR, these patients reported an “out-of-body” experience — a unique feeling of separation from the body, as if they were observing the events unfolding from the outside without pain or distress.

Moreover, survivors were found to have had increased brain activity up to an hour into CPR. Sam Parnia, an associate professor of the Department of Medicine at NYU Langone Health calls the brain wave changes the first physical evidence to substantiate near-death experiences.

“Our results offer evidence that while on the brink of death and in a coma, people undergo a unique inner conscious experience, including awareness without distress,” Parnia explained at the American Heart Association’s Scientific Sessions on November 6.

Parnia’s findings are unsurprising to survivors of near-death experiences like Pat Johnson, who drowned on the Blanco River while kayaking. He was then resuscitated by his kayaking partner.

“You’re given messages when you have a near-death experience. You’re more aware of how connected we are all together,” Johnson said in a Texas Standard interview.

Anecdotes about near-death experiences have been told for ages throughout every culture. Many survivor tales report seeing a light or lost loved ones, or traveling through their memories.

“These lucid experiences cannot be considered a trick of a disordered or dying brain, but rather a unique human experience that emerges on the brink of death,” said Parnia.

Parnia hypothesizes that while on the brink of death, inhibitions are lowered and people are able to access the depths of consciousness and stored memories.

“There’s a phase in the near-death experience that a minority of [near-death subjects] report… having access to all knowledge,” said Jan Holden, a former professor of counseling at the University of North Texas and editor of the Journal of Near-Death Studies.

Although researchers of the NYU study cannot explain the significance of near-death experiences, they believe that awareness during resuscitation warrants further research.

For the moment, Parnia’s research offers more questions rather than answers surrounding the meaning of life, the depth of the human experience, and the existence of consciousness after death.

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Roger Jasso
Roger Jasso
8 days ago

Death is the sign of birth as much as birth is the sign of death!!