High Levels of Carbon Dioxide During Cardiac Arrest May Cause Patients’ Strange Sensations, Researchers Say
April 7, 2010 — There may be a sound scientific explanation behind the strange near-death experiences reported by many people who go into cardiac arrest.
A new study suggests a buildup of carbon dioxide in the blood during cardiac arrest may cause the sensations of life flashing before the eyes, feelings of peace and joy, and encounters with mystical entities associated with near-death experiences.
Researchers say about a fifth of people who survive cardiac arrest report near-death experiences.
During cardiac arrest, the heart ceases to function properly and dangerous levels of carbon dioxide build up in the blood, but researchers say the association between carbon dioxide and near-death experiences (NDEs) has never been reported before.