Who here has been dead? (Clinically, anyway)

I feel honestly conflicted about if I needed to put that bit in parenthesis.

Anyway, for my ghoulish post-holiday question of the day—which I think I haven’t asked, before—has any Doper here been clinically dead, before? And if so, for how long?

Personally, I haven’t had the pleasure myself (not that I’m holding my breath or anything), though I recall that one of my great-grandfathers had this happen to him. Apparently being at your doctor’s office in a major hospital for a checkup is one of the better places to go into cardiac arrest if you want to get away with it.


Still not sure if I qualify, but I almost drowned in Puerto Rico when I was 9. Was out there with my dad, and we got caught in a rip tide (which, being inexperienced Ohioans at the time, we didn’t know how to safely escape). Last thing I remember is my mom going spastic on the beach-then I wake up on a surfboard-some P.R. kids went out there and saved my ass. Nobody did any resusitation (my dad was a physician), I just popped up on the surfboard, acausally you might say. Researching this, I discovered that the mammalian diving reflex might have saved me. Might. Wish I had an NDE to report, but I don’t, whatever that may mean. <shrug>

I was diagnosed with sudden infant death syndrome (SIDs) when I was six weeks old. I obviously survived, but mom said I didn’t have a pulse and wasn’t breathing.

I’m not sure if it had any detrimental affects on me, though I did develop a seizure disorder in my 20s. It’s controlled, but my doctor has no explanation for what caused it. Perhaps it was the SIDs or maybe my brain is just funky for no reason. Who knows?

I just want to say, your title wins. What it wins, I’m not sure, but it’s first place.

ETA: Insert your own zombie thread joke here.

I died from carbon monoxide poisoning when I was 10/11 years old. I did have an NDE, but hate to talk about it on here because it seems those threads get thrown into Great Debates. (No, I can’t prove it. No, I can’t provide links.)

But I do remember it.

Well, that all depends. Do you think your NDE was a real glimpse into the afterlife, or a hallucination being a common side effect of your brain gradually shutting down?

Glimpse into the afterlife.

I have. I’ve traditionally been the stubborn sort that never goes to a doctor, just waits out illnesses and lets his immune system deal with it, etc. Back in 2000, I started to feel “not right” - no appetite, not sleeping right, random weird aches and pains, weird rashes, etc. I chalked it up to stress. My condition steadily deteriorated and in 2001 it should have been painfully obvious that something was seriously wrong. The problem is, by that point it affected my mind so much that my judgment was entirely out of whack.

Turns out I had Lymphoma for quite some time, which had by that point reached stage IV, and metastasized all over the place. It was in my bone marrow, and eventually led to aplastic anemia; bone marrow completely shut down. So there I was severely anemic, neutropenic (no white blood cells; useless immune system) and with no platelets. Since I had no immune system I also had bronchitis and 2 ear infections to go along with it. My body started shutting down, I got completely delirious, etc. Started seeing a bunch of things and people that just plain weren’t there. I somehow managed to call my dad on the phone, and I explained to him that I had just accidently destroyed the universe, but it was OK, I had rebuilt it, and I wanted to know if I had rebuilt him properly. He quickly drove up to my place, and I told him I was hungry (I hadn’t eaten for several days apparently) and he said we’d go get a pizza. He of course took me to the mental hospital, they took one look at my vitals and said I need to get onto an ambulance to the medical hospital IMMEDIATELY as I was minutes from death.

I did make it to the hospital but went into cardiac arrest almost immediately after being brought to the the trauma room. I guess my blood was not carrying enough oxygen to keep the heart going. They did manage to get it going again, and transfuse me, etc. My memory of that whole part is extremely spotty. I remember the hallucinations distinctly, I remember being brought to the mental hospital, and part of the ambulance ride. I remember regaining consciousness a few times in the trauma room, one of which was right as they were doing a lumbar puncture (aka spinal tap). Fun!

Then I went into a coma for I think 7 or 8 days. I had to be regularly transfused for a few weeks until my bone marrow started working again, after chemo and a lot of procrit.

I didn’t see any tunnels with light at the end or anything during all of this. One thing I did notice was that whenever I was conscious, I was convinced that whatever room I was in was full of sweet-smelling smoke. I remember a distinct moment where I had this feeling like my sense of self was completely dissociated from my physical body, the best I can describe it is I felt like “existence turned inside out”, as if myself and the rest of the universe had swapped places, like all of existence was inside my body, and my consciousness became the rest of the universe. Just call me Wonko the Sane! And I remember a distinct point where my senses just shut off, and I just saw “snow” and heard white noise for a second. I was already unconscious at this point, but the images and sounds in the dream-like state disappeared and were replaced with this noise. And then at that point it all instantly snapped back to normality, which was when I woke up for the first time in the trauma room.

So, I’m pretty sure that part of the experience was my brain beginning to shut portions of itself down to conserve energy. Possibly the reason it seemed to instantly snap back to normal is that at that point it stopped keeping track of the passage of time, so my perception just jumped forward at that point. I don’t know, I’m not a neurologist, I just know what I experienced.

Anyway, I’m fine now, it will be 8 years in remission this January. Didn’t even have to have a bone marrow or stem cell transplant. Just chemo. Pretty remarkable, really.

During heart surgery, I was on a heart lung machine while my own heart and lungs were shut down for several hours. No dreams at all during that.

I had dreams during the delirium stage of my experience, and the dreams would intermingle with reality as I slipped in and out of consciousness. Then no dreams at all during the time when I was “shutting down”. The coma was chock full of them, though, a few of them I still remember to this day. Did I mention when I woke up I was inexplicably speaking in a British accent? :slight_smile:

I had been admitted to a hospital a few years agp with severe atrial fibrillation (bouts every few days lasting for 12-18 hours) and tachycardia. Beats up to 160/min. I was scheduled for tests the next day. That night I went to the bathroom around 11 PM. I felt really odd. The next thing I knew, I was being picked up from the floor by six nurses.

I had a monitor in my gown pocket with a readout in the nurse station. My heart rate dropped to 30, which is when I passed out. There was a Code Blue, but before anybody got there, my heart stopped for 45 seconds according to the monitor.

I reviverd on my own, but they shot me full of some meds and rushed me to ICU. I got another severe bout, but they gave me another shot. The next morning they put in a pacemaker.

When people ask me if I saw that while light at the end of a tunnel, i tell them, no, all I saw was flames.

As my doc said, “If you are going to have your heart stop, the best place to do it is in a hospital.”

Dusty Rose, I would be really interested in hearing your experience. PM me if you don’t want to share on the board. I promise not to send it to Great Debates.

I was mostly dead (does that count) when I was 18 months old. I had viral pneumonia and a fever of 108. Can’t recall anything about it except the animal curtains in the children’s ward. Which I really didn’t remember until my parents were talking about it one day and mentioned them and I promptly burst into tears - at age 22. It was weird.

I have died twice on operating tables [perfect place to drop dead if you are so inclined] both times for about 8 minutes. I do not remember any paranormal activity, just nothingness until i woke up in ICU after recovery. I would love to say that I had some sort of experience, I think it would be phenomenal to have had some sort of experience, but the lack of experience dos not dissuade me from believing in some form of either reincarnation or afterlife, though i would also not be surprised if this was all that there was, and nothing after.

I do not want to die, but I am not afraid to die.

Indeed. I had my heart stopped deliberately as part of surgery. No NDE, though I was under general anaesthetic for over 6 hours and when I woke up, not only was I mental, but I thought days had passed…

BigT mentions here having been clinically dead for 45 minutes.

And no “Need to know fast!” tagged onto the end of the thread title, a shame!

Nobody I know has been, but Mum and Dad recall a fright when a heart monitor Mum was hooked upto in hospital had a hiccup. It suddenly stopped bleeping, but just as Dad was up and away to get a nurse, it just started again on its own. Mum reported no ill effects :slight_smile:

I went into cardiac arrest in utero, during my birth; sorry but I had to be told about it second-hand, I’m kind of lacking on memories of the event :slight_smile: Evidently the adrenaline injection with a needle THIS big worked.

My grandfather was once told that, given his blood pressure measurement of 10/5, he was clinically dead, but he was conscious and had been working all day. His answer was “guess that explains why I’ve been so tired all day” and his brother/doctor deadpanned back “yeah, I figure being dead will do that.” I’ve been so low that the pharmacist taking the reading almost fainted and wanted to call an ambulance, but nowhere near as low as him.

No white light.
No “angels” visiting.
No disembodied overhead flights.
Not even dreams.

In a hospital when I was eight. Mom took me because I apparently had giant fungus growing on my head (no details - even the little I can remember would be considered TMI outside of one of the SDMB zit threads). Technician didn’t bother to read the part on my chart that said “highly allergic to penicillan” and gave me a whopping big shot. I don’t remember anything after that, but mom says I shut off like a switch had been thrown. Lots of panic and doctor-stuff later, I woke up feeling fine. I think my mom might have had the NDE instead, although with my accident-prone brothers attempting suicide weekly, she might have taken in stride. She was a lot more protective and less trusting of the Naval hospital after that.

A few years back I found out that I had a congenital heart defect the hard way-my heart started beating very erratically and the blood wasn’t going anywhere. After a few attempts using various meds, they decided to stop and restart my heart.
Does that count?