In yesterday's post I wrote about an example of a Near Death Experience (NDE) and how this changed a woman's life.
To balance things up I thought I'd put forward the sceptics view of such experiences today. The journal Critical Care has just published details of a study carried out by a team of Slovakian scientists on patients whose hearts had stopped following a cardiac arrest.
The scientists have reached the conclusion that any near death experiences (calmness, travelling through a tunnel towards a bright light, meetings with dead people etc.) are all down to carbon dioxide! An excess of the gas, they say, alters the chemical balance of the brain and this, in turn, fools the brain into seeing these things.
The Slovaks reached these findings after studying 52 people who had been resuscitated after their hearts had stopped. The patients which had an NDE, or something similar, were those who had a higher concentrate of carbon dioxide.
They explain that, though the heart and breathing may have stopped, the brain can survive for several minutes unharmed. It is during this period when the NDEs or out of body experiences occur.
A British expert Dr. Sam Parnia told the Daily Mail that high levels of carbon dioxide indicates that a patient had a 'good resuscitation'. In other words the doctors had ensured a good flow of blood to the brain, and these are the people more likely to remember out of body experiences.
So there you go it's nothing mystical at all, it's all down to carbon dioxide!
I'm not saying they are right, of course.