A large medical study has revealed scientific evidence which suggests that life could continue after death.
A team in the UK has, over the past four years, been searching for cardiac arrest patients to allow them to analyse their experiences. They discovered that around 40% of the survivors described having some type of ‘awareness’ during a time when they had been declared clinically dead.
Experts are of the opinion that the brain starts shutting down within 20 to 30 seconds of the termination of the heart beat and once that has happened, the patient will not be aware of anything at all once that has happened.
However, scientists involved in the new study have heard compelling evidence that patients experienced real events for around three minutes after this time and had the ability to recall the events accurately once they had gone through the resuscitation process.
The leader of the research, an assistant professor at the State University of New York and a former research fellow from the University of Southampton, Dr Sam Parnia, said that he had previously thought patients who were able to describe near-death experiences were relating hallucinatory events.
However, one man gave a ‘very credible’ account of what had happened while nurses and doctors were trying to bring him back to life and he stated that he felt he was observing the entire process from one corner of the room.
Dr Parnia said that they are aware that the brain stops functioning once the heart stops beating, however, in this case it appears that conscious awareness continued for a period up to three minutes.
He said the man described everything that had happened in that room, but the most important factor was that he had heard two bleeps from a machine which makes this noise at three-minute intervals. This allowed them to time the length of the experience he had gone through. He appeared to be very credible and related everything exactly as it had happened.
The study involved 2060 patients from 15 UK, US and Austrian hospitals and the results have been published in the journal Resuscitation.
Of the patients who survived, 46% experienced a wide range of mental recollections, 9% had experiences in line with traditional definitions of a near-death experience and 2% indicated full awareness with accurate recall of ‘hearing’ and ‘seeing’ events, or out-of-body experiences.
Dr Parnia stated that these new findings suggest that the experiences surrounding death warrants further investigation without prejudice.
The editor-in-chief of the journal, Dr Jerry Nolan, has offered his congratulations to the research team on their fascinating discovery and said this will open the door to more in-depth research into what happens upon our death.