Near death experiences, cognitive function and psychological outcomes of surviving cardiac arrest

Resuscitation. 2007 Aug;74(2):215-21. doi: 10.1016/j.resuscitation.2007.01.020. Epub 2007 Apr 9.


Cardiac arrest is associated with a number of cognitive processes as well as long term psychological outcomes. Recent studies have indicated that approximately 10-20% of cardiac arrest survivors report cognitive processes, including the ability to recall specific details of their resuscitation from the period of cardiac arrest. In addition it has been demonstrated that these cognitive processes are consistent with the previously described near death experience and that those who have these experiences are left with long term positive life enhancing effects. There have also been numerous studies that have indicated that although the quality of life for cardiac arrest survivors is generally good, some are left with long term cognitive impairments as well as psychological sequelae such as post-traumatic stress disorder. This paper will review near death experiences, cognitive function and psychological outcomes in survivors of cardiac arrest.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Attitude to Death*
  • Brain / physiopathology*
  • Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation / psychology*
  • Consciousness
  • Fantasy*
  • Heart Arrest / psychology*
  • Heart Arrest / therapy
  • Humans
  • Mental Recall*
  • Parapsychology
  • Vision, Ocular