///2012 Abstract Details
2012 Abstract Details2019-08-02T19:38:42-05:00

Near Death Experience of Maternal Cardiac Arrest Survivor

Abstract Number: S-66
Abstract Type: Case Report/Case Series

Niekoo Abbasian MD1 ; Heather Nixon MD2

Introduction: Near death experiences(NDEs) are defined as profound psychological events with transcendental and mystical elements typically occurring in individuals close to death. The experiences can involve a number of different components including a feeling of well-being or peace, out of body experiences, entering a region of darkness, seeing a bright light, and entering another realm. Due to the advances in resuscitation techniques, near death experiences occur as frequently as 20% in cardiac arrest survivors. We report the first case of a near death experience during a cardiac arrest of a patient undergoing Cesarean delivery. Case Presentation: A 30 year old multiparous woman with chronic hypertension and paraplegia from previous trauma was admitted for induction of labor secondary to severe pre-eclampsia treated with magnesium and labetalol were initiated. The patient was emergently brought to the obstetric operating room for Cesarean delivery due to marked fetal bradycardia. The patient was induced with propofol and vecuronium and an endotracheal tube was placed. Ten minutes following the delivery of the fetus, the patient's blood pressure fell precipitously despite treatment with ephedrine and phenylephrine. When no blood pressure could be measured and no pulse was palpable a “code blue” was activated. The patient was noted to be in PEA and ACLS was performed for approximately 50 minutes prior to return of circulation. Once the patient was stabilized, she was transported to the medical ICU. During her recovery over the following days, the patient recounted several occurrences from her resuscitation including direct quotes by personnel and she was able to correctly identify the individual who performed chest compressions even though this would have been impossible secondary to the surgical drape and taping of the eyes. The patient appeared to suffer no psychological distress, but only offered gratitude towards the medical personnel for their resuscitative efforts. Discussion: An NDE is a special state of consciousness that occurs during a period of impending or actual death, which to many medical personnel is an inexplicable phenomena. A few studies have addressed the long term psychological effects in those surviving cardiac arrest; noting that patients undergo a positive change, being more self-aware, socially aware, and religious than before, even more apparent at eight years following the event as compared to 2 years. The process of acceptance of an NDE may take many years with feelings of depression and loneliness, which should be addressed by the medical practitioners, as these patients may develop signs and symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder. 1)French, Christopher C.(2005)Progress in Brain Research 150: 351-67 2)Greyson, Bruce(2007)Resuscitation 73: 407-11 3)Parnia, S. et al(2007)Resuscitation 74: 215-21 4)Van Lommel, P. et al(2001)358: 2039-45 5)Van Lommel, Pim(2011)Ann. N.Y. Acad. Sci. 1234: 19-28

SOAP 2012