Some people report a near-death experience (NDE) after a life-threatening crisis. We aimed to establish the cause of this experience and assess factors that affected its frequency, depth, and content.
In a prospective study, we included 344 consecutive cardiac patients who were successfully resuscitated after cardiac arrest in ten Dutch hospitals. We compared demographic, medical, pharmacological, and psychological data between patients who reported NDE and patients who did not (controls) after resuscitation. In a longitudinal study of life changes after NDE, we compared the groups 2 and 8 years later.
62 patients (18%) reported NDE, of whom 41 (12%) described a core experience. Occurrence of the experience was not associated with duration of cardiac arrest or unconsciousness, medication, or fear of death before cardiac arrest. Frequency of NDE was affected by how we defined NDE, the prospective nature of the research in older cardiac patients, age, surviving cardiac arrest in first myocardial infarction, more than one cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) during stay in hospital, previous NDE, and memory problems after prolonged CPR. Depth of the experience was affected by sex, surviving CPR outside hospital, and fear before cardiac arrest. Significantly more patients who had an NDE, especially a deep experience, died within 30 days of CPR (p<0.0001). The process of transformation after NDE took several years, and differed from those of patients who survived cardiac arrest without NDE.
We do not know why so few cardiac patients report NDE after CPR, although age plays a part. With a purely physiological explanation such as cerebral anoxia for the experience, most patients who have been clinically dead should report one.
Link to Full Article: http://profezie3m.altervista.org/archivio/TheLancet_NDE.htm
|Elements of NDE
|1 Awareness of being dead||31 (50%)|
|2 Positive emotions||35 (56%)|
|3 Out of body experience||15 (24%)|
|4 Moving through a tunnel||19 (31%)|
|5 Communication with light||14 (23%)|
|6 Observation of colours||14 (23%)|
|7 Observation of a celestial landscape||18 (29%)|
|8 Meeting with deceased persons||20 (32%)|
|9 Life review||8 (13%)|
|10 Presence of border||5 (8%)|
|Table 2: Frequency of ten elements of NDE|
While this research and journal article are several years old, it has excellent research methodology and analysis. It is worth the time to read the various tables of analysis results:
Table 1: Distribution of the 344 patients in five WCEI classes
Table 2: Frequency of ten elements of NDE
Table 3: Factors affecting frequency and depth of near-death experience (NDE)
Table 4: Significant differences in life-change inventory-scores of patients with and without NDE at 2-year follow-up
Table 5: Total sum of individual life-change inventory scores of patients at 2-year and 8-year follow-up