Poll: Who here has been (clinically) dead?

Oddest poll of all time, I should think.

And with 30,000+ members on the SDMB, I would think that there’s at least one or two formerly-almost-dead people here.

If they are clinically dead then shouldn’t they still be that way, in most cases?

I almost died when i was teenager, surfing, pitched over the falls and into a sandbank, landing on my head and bending my spine the wrong way. I took in a lungfull of salt water and blacked out…resucitated on the beach by a clubbie (surf lifesaver), then two weeks in hospital due to some spinal damage and salt water damage (salt water damages your lungs in a big way, osmosis).

Then dad almost put me back in there for being a pain in the arse!

Aged 15 I was in a coma for 4 days and they didn’t know if I would ever come out of it. Don’t know if that counts as clinically dead or not though.

Hasn’t happened to me, but you can be clinically dead and not stay that way, particularly if you “die on the operating table,” such as during open-heart surgery (where your heart is deliberately stopped for a few minutes, meaning that you are dead for a short time).

In 1995 I went through the windshield of my truck and was brain damaged. They had to do CPR on the way to the hospital because my heart stopped. I was put on full life-support and kept that way until my wife decided to pull the plug four days later, she would not let me live like a potted plant. Things worked out well in the end, but I am seriously considering having DNR tattooed on my chest.

I’ve been called brain-dead a few times. It was just exaggeration, though.

says who?

Lekatt? You here, Lekatt?

maybe he died…

I have not been clinically dead, but after an operation in July, one of the nurses asked me if I had seen a white light and when I said no, he said I was close enough I should have… I thought he was kidding, because the night staff was made up primarily of men and they would often come in to bust my stones, but he said no, it was really that close…

When I was born my 5 minute Apgar was only 1. Not dead, but pretty close.

Never been there myself, but had enough encounters with people who were and came back (sometimes because of ME!!) :slight_smile: (ego running amok)

They never had interesting stories, though. One guy claimed to see a man in white, but since he also claimed the man in white was a bit stout and balding and was wearing a stethoscope, I think he just saw me in my clinical coat.

And please, Eve! Don’t say the L name again!!

I have been clinically dead. I don’t know for how long, but it was 1995 I was in for a discectomy (they were taking a bone from my hip and putting it in my neck to replace a disc that had ruptured and was crushing my spinal cord. I was numb on my right side and slowly having a stroke). The anesthesiologist forgot to calculate in that I smoked. He applied too much anesthesia and I died of congestive heart failure on the table before they even began the surgery. It took them three hours to stabilize me.

I saw the light. I traveled up that tunnel of smokey haze. When I stopped I was looking at my children all grown up. My son was in a uniform and handsome. My youngest looked like a librarian, but very happy. I was “told” that they would not be this happy if I did not go back. That their lives would be very different from the ones I saw here. I knew this meant they would lead miserable lives without me. I did not want to go back. The peace I found at the end of that tunnel was total understanding. It all seemed so simple. Life was not at all the harsh strife I had thought it was. I felt if I could just take this understanding with me, I could stand it. All the way back I kept saying “Jeez! They won’t even let me die in peace.”
When I came around I heard the anesthesiologist apologizing saying he didn’t know what had happened to me. I was in intensive care for 3 days instead of 3 hours. I even got a call after I got home from one of the staff telling me what had happened to me. I think they expected me to sue the hospital. Truthfully, I was just glad to be alive. As for the understanding of living? I remembered it, but forgot to write it down and forgot it all. Except now, I am glad I am alive long enough to see my children grow up to be worthwhile human beings.

I haven’t.

But my Dad has been. 3 times IIRC.

He doesn’t admit when he’s sick and he avoids making appointments with doctors.

This combination has led to a few trips to the ER.

On one of those trips his blood pressure was 30/50.

He’s also had a few operations which required his heart to be stopped. I wasn’t too worried about these. If anything went wrong, he’s already surrounded by doctors and his ribcage has already been opened giving quick access to his vital organs.

Actually, considering the number and severity of the things Dad has been through, I no longer worry so much about his health. Oh, there may be other frantic trips to the ER. But in the end, I think it’ll take a piano or safe dropped on his head to kill him.


The day I found out I was allergic to Demerol (the hard way, obviously) I had to be resuscitated.

No movie-like floating up above the scene, though there WAS a good deal of detachment and a feeling of complete calm and I could see, hear, and understand everything going on around me, though I could not talk or breathe.

I’d love to describe what happened next, but I was unconscious 8-).

Oddly enough, it is a pleasant memory for me. The circumstances of my divorce form my first wife are such that I am still highly annoyed and have no contact with her. Still, I could never actually hate her—and that day is a major reason why. She saved my ass, and never, ever, mentioned it to me, talked about it, or tried to take any credit (and the handwriting was already on the wall for our relationship at the time—she did tell me later that that was when she knew she still actually loved me)—and I never told her I saw it all. She was still a Vet Student at the time, and the Docs at her school liked to pull her to assist on any operations because she was competent. She had just come off an emergency surgery rotation where they had a string of bad luck (and was down about it), and was acutely aware of what a crashing patient looked like. In this case, that would be me. Idiot Nurse (apologies to Doper health care professionals out there, but the nurse was out of her depth…) was trying to placate the Ex, and the Ex didn’t even stop to argue—she just trotted out, found the nurse in charge (a non-idiot nurse—she took about 1.5 seconds to size up the situation the same way the EX did), and told her her hubby was crashing in room XXX, my condition, and that she needed a Doc. NOW. I have no doubts at all that if that had not worked, the Ex would have taken over.

It all worked out in the end. No real drama—they had to do a chemical resuscitation to get me to breathe and have blood pressure, but I woke up a bit later and was none the worse for wear except for spending the next 3 days (after I got out) on the couch.


My father was struck by lightning and was dead for a couple of minutes. No breathing, no hearbeat, blank stare, etc.

He says he experienced nothing during that time. As far as he remembers, one second he was starting to open the gate for the dog, the next second he was cursing at an orderly for poking him too hard with the IV.

Well my heart quits occasionally. I have this nice little computer implant that shocks it into starting again (I hope). It’s sort of like standing in water and sticking your finger in a light socket.

Religions have been founded on less. The Revived Universal Church of Qadgop? :wink: I expect all churches would be shaped like the hulls of starships and services would take place on the outside…

During my stroke on the ambulance ride to the hospital, I was very conscious and aware (of lots of pain) then it ended. I ended. I don’t know if I was clinically dead but parts of my brain did die. Mom told me she remembered a sudden flurry of activity in the back of ambulance.

In 1990, I had a reaction to the iodine IVP dye that used to be routinely used for CAT scans. I was at a neurologist’s office because of horrible migraines. I was asked if I could eat shrimp, said that yes, I loved shrimp. I was injected, I stopped breathing.
My mind was screaming, my mouth would not move. Luckily, the
technician knew her stuff & screamed for help…she actually used the word “STAT”. My daughter(12 yrs. old at the time) was in the waiting room & she later told me that there was a huge flurry of activity, everyone out there knew something was up. She said she knew it was me…she could feel it. She waited like 5 minutes, then went to the front desk & told the lady,“There’s something happening with my mom. I need to be with her.” I don’t know what it was, maybe my daughter was so calm & sincere & sure of herself, but they let her come back there while they were bringing me back to life. I knew she was there & I knew I’d be okay.
It was scary as hell but it was kinda cool the way my child & I could just “feel” each other.