Question: Just wanted to relate a personal experience. I used to be a 100% skeptic, but this happened to me and now I am more open and I am looking for the truth. Please let me know your thoughts.
I am an emergency room nurse. About a year ago we received a patient by ambulance in full cardiorespiratory arrest. No pulse, no effective cardiac rhythm ( refractory ventricular fibrillation ). Patient had been in arrest for at least 15 minutes prior to arival. CPR/ACLS in progress on arrival.
To make a long story short, we worked him for about 25 minutes without positive response. The physician in charge stated that we would defibrillate one more time and if no response we would stop. One last shock, and his heart converted to a beating rhythm, and continued to impove from there, later being admitted to intensive care.
AT NO POINT DURING HIS STAY IN THE EMERGENCY ROOM WAS HE CONSCIOUS. Most of the time he was technically dead.
The next day, one of the ICU nurses called down and told us the patient wanted to see several of the ER staff. He named several of us by name, and described us to the ICU nurses. He said he wanted to see us in person "to make sure he wasn't going crazy".
During a slow time later that night we went upstairs and he called us by name without introductions. He told a story of floating out of his body, just below the ceiling, watching us attempt resuscitation. He said he knew our names from when we called out to each other while working on him. One thing I found especially fascinating was that he said when we defibrillated ( shocked ) him, he would be pulled back into his body for a few seconds, then end up back floating by the ceiling a few seconds after. The last time we defibbed him he was pulled back in and became unconscious. At this point he had a pulse and improved.
We have talked quite a bit about it here. Some of the staff think maybe he was actually semi-conscious the whole time, his brain remaining oxegenated and at least partly functional due to effective CPR. Something akin to anesthetized surgical patients retaining the sense of hearing and being able to relate the conversations of the operating team after they have been awakened.
Others in the group here believe it was a NDE. We reason that this would explain the out-of-body viewpoint and the retention of sight and cognitive abilities by the patient even though he was to all intents and purposes dead when we were together in the ER. There is no other way he could have known our names, either, as his family was not allowed in the room during the resuscitation.
None of us have any experience in this matter and when I stumbled on this newsgroup I thought I'd post and see what you all thought.
Answer: He learned that this kind of experience has been seen many times in this group. For those who may think the patient was semi-conscious and listening, please note the author states: "He named several of us by name, and described us to the ICU nurses." This question is quoted from the alt.consciousness.near-death-exp newsgroup with the permission of the author. He was directed to NDE accounts for further reading.