Last week I wrote on the importance of Cardio Pulmonary Resuscitation or CPR. But what I really wanted to write about is the latest research in the UK on people that underwent clinical death for a few minutes in a hospital setting. Here is the link to an article about that that research:
The study looked at 2060 individuals who underwent cardiac arrest in 15 hospitals. 330 of them survived. Out of this number, 40% reported some kind of conscious awareness during the time when their heart was not working. This took about 3 minutes on average. 13% of the 330 survivors reported an out-of-body experience during cardiac arrest. It’s pretty amazing stuff.
A Closer Look
Our consciousness usually shuts down after about 30 seconds of not supplying blood to the brain. This can be due to a cardiac arrest or putting pressure on the neck arteries (like a chokehold). Losing consciousness can also happen due to fainting or a severe blow to the head. Basically, we go totally blank. We are not aware of anything during this time and when we come back the entire period when we were “out” is like a black hole.
In the case of the cardiac arrest patients, it was different. Some 40% experienced awareness during the entire 3 minutes when they were “out”. We know that the brain is not dead during this time. It takes about 5 minutes of a complete lack of blood flow to the brain for the brain to permanently damaged and about 10 minutes to be proclaimed “clinically” dead. But before the 5 minutes are up, even if a person comes back, there should not have been any awareness. Memory during this time should have been completely blank, like when we lose consciousness as described previously.
We also know how long the patients in the study reported awareness during cardiac arrest. One person reported hearing two beeps of a machine in a resuscitation room. The beeps occur every 3 minutes, so this gives some indication of how long this individual was clinically dead before coming back and how long he was aware of his surroundings (at least from the perspective of hearing the machine beeps). Other people reported similarities in what they experienced: time slowing down or speeding up, the person being dragged through water, a very calm sensation, or a bright peaceful light.
The Sedative Effect
Another argument is that only 40% of patients reported awareness during cardiac arrest after they came back because of sedative drugs during the time when they were “clinically” dead (sedative drugs erase memory) or because they were “clinically” dead for so long that after they came back they already had brain damage (i.e., they were under for more than 5 minutes). Brain damage, in this case, would have erased any memory of conscious awareness when they were out. This may explain why only 40% reported awareness and not a larger number.
Another thing to consider is that the reporters of the study said that this study gives evidence of what is perhaps “a small amount of life after death”. We have to remember that these individuals came back after resuscitation. There is no way of knowing if their awareness during “clinical” death extends beyond the 3 minutes when they were out (because they came back) or even beyond 5 minutes when they were out (because in this case even if they come back they already have brain damage so they could not remember the awareness they experienced when they were “clinically dead”).
The Bottom Line
These individuals, even when they came back before 5 minutes passed without any blood to the brain, should have remembered nothing. Cardiac arrest should have had the same effect as choking someone, i.e., a total blackout. But in this case it was different. People remembered events when they were out. One person even reported watching the resuscitation procedure from the corner of the room.
If you ask me, this is the first very strong indication that there is a spiritual existence after our physical death. We may be eternal spiritual beings after all.
See you next time.
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