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Revealing Possible Flashes of Consciousness in Cardiac Arrest Patients: A Major Study Analysis


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Study Reveals Possible Consciousness in Cardiac Arrest Patients during Resuscitation


An analysis of a major study into mysterious death events has uncovered potential signs of consciousness in the brains of patients experiencing cardiac arrest as medical professionals attempt to revive them.

The Study

A team of medical experts, led by researchers at New York University Grossman School of Medicine, conducted a review of patients admitted to hospitals in the US and UK who underwent cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR). The study collected data on the brain’s electroencephalogram (EEG) activity and oxygen levels during CPR, revealing faint traces of brain activity in the dying patients.

The Impact of Cardiac Arrest

When the heart fails to maintain a steady rhythm, blood pressure drops, leading to the accumulation of carbon dioxide and other waste products while depriving tissues of oxygen. While CPR can temporarily restore blood circulation, it cannot fully replace the function of a beating heart. As time passes, the chances of recovery diminish.

Neurological Function during Cardiac Arrest

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It has been unclear how cardiac arrest affects neurological function. Previous research has shown that it can take a considerable amount of time for the brain to enter a state of complete silence after circulation stops.

Project AWARE II

Pulmonologist Sam Parnia and his team conducted Project AWARE II, which involved using technology to assess the consciousness of CPR patients. Despite none of the participants recalling any visual or auditory stimuli, some healthy survivors reported memories of the resuscitation efforts. Real-time brain monitoring also indicated the possibility of sustained neural activity in 40% of survivors within an hour of CPR.

Implications of the Study

Contrary to the belief that the brain sustains permanent damage approximately ten minutes after the heart stops supplying oxygen, this study suggests that there may be signs of electrical recovery in the brain during ongoing CPR. These observations and changes in brain waves could be indicative of common elements of the so-called near-death experience.


This groundbreaking study highlights the potential for consciousness during cardiac arrest and provides valuable insights into the relationship between the brain and resuscitation efforts. The findings have been published in the journal Reanimation.

Source: ScienceAlert

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