New York University conducted the first study of its kind to examine a person’s consciousness during cardiac arrest. NYU released study findings on Thursday Magazine revival.
Researchers conducted a study on 567 people who required CPR during cardiac arrest and studied their brain activity using electroencephalogram. Only 9.3% of those studied survived, but 28 of the 53 completed interviews about their experience.
The study found that people who are experiencing cardiac arrest and are being given CPR may remain conscious despite having no outward signs of consciousness.
Of the survivors interviewed, 40% said they had some degree of consciousness during the cardiac arrest. Three of the 28 interviewed said they had dream-like experiences, while six of the 28 recalled a near-death experience.
Dr. Sam Parnia, associate professor of medicine at NYU Langone Medical Center, said this study shows that the brain remains strong even an hour after resuscitation. He says the study refutes the notion that the brain dies after 10 minutes of resuscitation due to lack of oxygen.
It has long been thought that brain damage begins five minutes after cardiac arrest.
“In this study, we were able for the first time to show brain markers, electrical signals, all of these superconscious, hyper-vivid experiences that are occurring in the brain, not as markers of imagined experiences but as markers of real experience. It’s happening through the transition between life and death,” Parnia said.
The study hypothesizes that as the brain dies, its natural braking systems are removed, allowing it to access “new dimensions of reality.”
“We were also able to identify the mechanism by which this experience occurs, which is that as the brain shuts down due to lack of blood flow in death, the normal braking systems in the brain are removed, which is known as this blockage. Known,” Parnia said. “It enables people to access their entire consciousness, all their thoughts, memories, all their emotional states, everything they have done, which they retrieve through the perspective of morality and ethics.”