Life flashing before your eyes? It's just raised CO2 levels
Thursday 08 April 2010
The phenomenon known as "near-death experience" could be caused by raised levels of carbon dioxide, researchers suggest.
People who say they have experienced the phenomenon describe sensations such as their life flashing before their eyes, feelings of peace and joy, and supernatural encounters.
Scientists in Slovenia studied 52 patients who had suffered cardiac arrest, using questionnaires to determine if they had had near-death experiences (NDEs). They also looked at data including carbon dioxide levels.
According to the study, published in Critical Care, 11 patients reported NDEs, with more incidences among those with a higher concentration of carbon dioxide in the breath and arteries.
It concluded: "As much as one fifth of out-of-hospital cardiac arrest patients report NDEs during cardiac arrest. Higher initial petCO2 [carbon dioxide in air exhaled from the lungs] and higher arterial blood pCO2 [the pressure of dissolved carbon dioxide in the blood] proved to be important in the provoking of NDEs.
"Higher serum levels of K [potassium] might also be important. Since these associations have not been reported before, our study adds new and important information to the field of NDEs phenomena."
Zalika Klemenc-Ketis, who worked with a team of researchers from the University of Maribor, said: "Several theories explaining the mechanisms of NDEs exist. We found that in those patients who experienced the phenomenon, blood carbon dioxide levels were significantly higher than in those who did not.
"The association with carbon dioxide has never been reported before, and deserves further study," she added.
- 2 PornHub begs users to stop uploading video clips of Brazil getting beaten 7-1
- 3 Why I'm on the brink of burning my Israeli passport
- 4 L'Oreal cuts ties with Belgium supporter Axelle Despiegelaere after hunting trip photographs
- 5 The true Gaza back-story that the Israelis aren’t telling this week
Instagram of US airport security chiefs: Lipstick knives and IED training kits among items seized
Game of Thrones author George RR Martin says 'f*** you' to fans who fear he will die before finishing Westeros saga
Loom bands: Bids for dress made from colourful rubber reach almost £154,000 on eBay
Israel-Gaza crisis: Eight killed in Gaza Strip cafe while watching World Cup semi-final
Supermoon 2014: When and why will the moon look bigger and brighter this summer?
Sustained immigration has not harmed Britons' employment, say government advisers
Australia facing international condemnation after turning around Sri Lankans at sea
7/7 memorial defaced on anniversary of 2005 attacks with ‘Blair lied thousands died’ graffiti
Even when it brutalises one of its own teenage citizens, America is helpless against Israel
Socialist Worker called to apologise over ‘vile’ article saying Eton schoolboy Horatio Chapple's death is ‘reason to save the polar bears’
There’s a nasty smell in the political air – and it’s coming from the Tories
£50000 - £70000 per annum: Harrington Starr: Business Analyst Consultant (Fina...
competitive: Progressive Recruitment: My client, a FTSE 100 organisation are u...
£300 - £350 per day + competitive: Orgtel: My client, a leading bank, is curre...
£33000 per annum + pension, 25 days holiday: Ashdown Group: A highly successfu...