Featured Image Credit: Agencja Fotograficzna Caro / Hanna Kuprevich / Alamy Stock Photo
While death is something that most people don’t like to think about, it inevitably crosses our minds from time to time.
Now, medical experts have explained that there are four main things that happen when our lives come to an end.
Your blood pressure drops
The first sign that a person is dying, which they may well notice depending on their physical state, is that their body will slowly but surely begin to shut down.
This is marked by a drop in blood pressure, which Zachary Palace, a medical director, said can cause them to look pale.
“The fingers may get cold or turn blue,” he added. “If you feel the pulse, it will be weak.”
This change in the body may leave the person experiencing it feeling confused, however, it could also be peaceful.
One Reddit user described their near-death experience as being like a ‘pure, perfect, uninterrupted sleep, no dreams’.
Your breathing slows
The second stage of death involves a person’s breathing, which will begin to slow down.
As noted by Dr Palace, a dying person will ‘develop an irregular type of breathing, and that’s a sign that things are pretty ominous.’
This deprival of the body of oxygen is what ultimately causes a person’s heart to stop.
You lose consciousness
It’s at this point that a person may begin to fall in and out of consciousness as they enter the third stage of death, which is sleep.
Dr Kathryn Mannix wrote in Science Focus: “There may be periods of restlessness or moments of confusion, or just gradually deepening unconsciousness.
“Unconscious people’s breathing follows automatic patterns generated by the respiratory centre in the brain stem.
“Because they’re unaware of their mouth and throat, dying people may breathe heavily, noisily or through saliva in the back of their throat, yet without apparent distress.”
Your brain shuts down
The fourth and final stage that you can expect to happen when you’re about to die involves your brain activity, which doesn’t necessarily switch off until you’ve passed away.
While a person might physically be unresponsive at this stage, their brain could still be responding to sound.
Elizabeth Blundon, who studied electrical activity in the brains of the dying, said: “In the last hours before an expected natural death, many people enter a period of unresponsiveness.
“Our data shows that a dying brain can respond to sound, even in an unconscious state, up to the last hours of life.”
“We have no proven way to investigate what people experience during dying,” the doctor added.
“Recent research shows that, even close to death, the unconscious brain responds to noises in the room.
“We don’t know how much sense music or voices make to a dying person, however.”
Doctor Who Has Witnessed Hundreds Die Explains How It Feels For Person Passing Away
| Last updated
Featured Image Credit: Pixabay
It’s one of life’s greatest mysteries – what happens when we die?
Although science is yet to figure this out, a palliative care doctor who’s witnessed hundreds of people pass away has drawn on his experience to describe what the dying process looks like.
Answering a reader question on the subject for The Conversation, Seamus Coyle, honorary senior clinical lecturer at the University of Liverpool, said: “As an expert on palliative care, I think there is a process to dying that happens two weeks before we pass.
“During this time, people tend to become less well. They typically struggle to walk and become sleepier – managing to stay awake for shorter and shorter periods.
“Towards the last days of life, the ability to swallow tablets or consume food and drinks eludes them.
“It is around this time that we say people are ‘actively dying’, and we usually think this means they have two to three days to live.”
That being said, some people go through this process in just a day, while others continue on for nearly a week, which Coyle said is often distressing for the families.
He explained the actual moment of death is trickier to decipher, adding: “But a yet unpublished study suggests that, as people get closer to death, there is an increase in the body’s stress chemicals.
“For people with cancer, and maybe others, too, inflammatory markers go up. These are the chemicals that increase when the body is fighting an infection.”
One detail he was asked about is whether the last moments of life could be euphoric, perhaps triggered by a flood of endorphins.
Although Coyle couldn’t give a definitive answer as it hasn’t yet been explored, he did point to a 2011 study that showed the levels of the happy hormone serotonin tripled in the brains of six rats as they passed away.
“We can’t rule out the possibility that something similar could happen in humans,” he said.
As for the bit we’re all concerned about – pain – the doctor explained: “In general, it seems like people’s pain declines during the dying process.
“We don’t know why that is – it could be related to endorphins. Again, no research has yet been done on this.”
During his time in palliative care, Coyle has witnessed the full spectrum of deaths, from people who are anxious right up to the end to those who accept their fate early on.
“Ultimately, every death is different – and you can’t predict who is going to have a peaceful death,” he said.
“I think some of those I have seen die didn’t benefit from a rush of feel-good chemicals.
“I can think of a number of younger people in my care, for example, who found it difficult to accept that they were dying. They had young families and never settled during the dying process.
“Those I have seen who may have had an ecstatic experience towards the end of their lives were generally those who somehow embraced death and were at peace with the inevitability of it.”
Topics: Health, Mental Health
Woman Who Had Near-Death Experience Describes Voices Relaying ‘What It Means To Be A Good Person’
| Last updated
Featured Image Credit: @rayraydemp/TikTok
Did someone ask for an existential crisis? No? Well, you’re getting one anyway, courtesy of a TikToker who has shared her near-death experience.
Raychul, who goes by the handle @rayraydemp, posted a series of videos in which she described what she experienced when she was clinically dead for seven minutes.
Rather unsettlingly, she recalls voices relaying ‘what it means to be a good person’, and how time appeared to go on forever.
The TikToker opened up about overdosing while in college, saying: “I basically died for about seven minutes total but it felt like forever.”
When she first died, Raychul said she was ‘in an open field that had a giant tree in the middle with water in the front’.
She added: “There was no sense of space or relative to your size to your environment. It was gargantuan is an understatement.
“It was also endless, there was no horizon that you could really see to give you a space of how big this place was.
“All at once you heard a million voices all talking at the same time relaying information to you on what it means to be a good person, your interaction with other people and how it affects a multitude of individuals.”
In part two of her story, Raychul said that as soon as she was in this beautiful space she was then taken to what she could only describe as a ‘black pit’.
“The black pit was so scary and I still have nightmares about it if I can be honest,” she said.
“There’s hundreds of thousands of millions of people all in this space. We can see each other but we can’t talk to each other, you can’t really understand what anyone is saying.
“You just hear people screaming out like names and asking for their mum or for help and you can’t really see them, you can’t feel them, they’re just there.”
At this point, she came to in a rehab facility, which brings her to the third and final part of the story.
While undergoing extensive therapy for two months, Raychul said her therapist helped her work through a lot of trauma that led her to that point in her life.
When she started to explain her NDE, the therapist asked for permission to record and document the conversation.
Raychul explained: “I went through my entire experience with her from start to finish leading to that point.
“She took vigorous notes and asked me to describe where I had been. When I explained to her what was happening, when we were all done she looked at me and said, ‘This binder is full of near-death experiences and they’re all almost exactly like what you just described.’
“One folder contained 3,000 near-death experiences.”
Gulp. Unfortunately there’s not a lot we can do with this information, although the TikToker did go into a bit more detail about the voices saying what it means to be a good person: “When you go out to purposely hurt people. We’re all connected & you can change so many lives on one interaction.”
She also offered her view on the commenters who suggested she may have been in limbo, writing: “I don’t think it’s a waiting room. I honestly believe it’s a way to gather knowledge & change your soul.”
Topics: Mental Health, TikTok
Man who died for 90 minutes explains what the afterlife is like
| Last updated
Featured Image Credit: Facebook/ jhonatta salguedo / Alamy Stock Photo
A man who came back from the dead after dying for 90 minutes has revealed what the afterlife is like – and his experience was so frightening that his brain has ‘blocked it out’.
Alistair Blake, 61, suffered a heart attack in January 2019. His wife, Melinda, had woken up at their home in Australia to find her husband of 35 years ‘gurgling’ and unresponsive during the terrifying ordeal, the Daily Star reports.
She then tried to revive him for 20 minutes until an ambulance arrived.
However, when they got there, they only found his lifeless body.
Melinda had desperately tried to perform CPR until paramedics arrived, and it’s reported that he was clinically dead for an hour and a half.
Medics continued to work on Alistair for over an hour, giving him CPR and using a defibrillator to shock him eight times.
And, after a desperate 90 minutes, his pulse was found after his heart had finally restarted.
When describing the afterlife, Alistair says there was ‘nothing’, no sounds, voices or lights. He said that the experience was so traumatic that his brain had shut everything out.
“Technically, I was dead for 90 minutes,” he said.
“I remember going to bed on the Saturday night – and the next thing I remember was waking up on Thursday morning on a trolley going from ICU to coronary care.
“The human brain has totally blocked out what happened in between.”
He added: “A lot of people ask me if I saw anything, and no, I did not see anything. No bright lights, nothing like that whatsoever.
“It’s a case of not knowing what’s out there – but I don’t mind about that, as long as I’m fit and healthy.”
Doctors managed to unblock one of the 61-year-old’s arteries at Frankston Hospital and he was fitted with a pacemaker.
Alistair returned home after 12 days in hospital and says that his near-death experience has given him a completely different approach to life.
After his brush with death, Alistair reduced the number of hours he works in order to see friends and family more. He also eats more healthily and does more exercise too.
Near death experiences are a topic of scientific fascination, particularly to one researcher Dr Steven Laureys, a neurologist at the Centre Hospitalier Universitaire de Liège in Belgium.
According to Laureys, near death experiences feel ‘even more real than real’ and he says its ‘the dysfunctional brain which causes the phenomena’.
His research also suggests that some people have a very vivid experience.
Speaking to CNN, he said: “After being close to death, some people will report having had an out-of-body experience, having seen a bright light or being passed through a tunnel; all well-known elements of the famous Near-Death Experience.”
Topics: Health, World News, News
Study explains what you may see in final moments before death
| Last updated
Featured Image Credit: incamerastock/Alamy Stock Photo/nito/Alamy Stock Photo
A study has revealed what could happen in the final moments before death.
Research from a scientific ‘accident’ has indicated that the suggestion that life ‘flashes before our eyes’ before death could actually have some truth to it.
The data was discovered when a team of scientists measured the brainwaves of an 87-year-old man who had developed epilepsy.
However, the patient sadly suffered a fatal heart attack while the team were conducting a neurological reading, which revealed an unexpected insight into what can happen when a person dies.
The recording – which is the first ever recording of a dying brain – indicated that in the 30 seconds before and after death, brainwaves followed patterns similar to dreaming or recalling memories.
Scientists think the findings could suggest a ‘flashback’ before the end of life.
Dr Ajmal Zemmar, co-author of the study – which was published in Frontiers in Aging Neuroscience – told the BBC: “This was actually totally by chance, we did not plan to do this experiment or record these signals,” he said.
“If I were to jump to the philosophical realm, I would speculate that if the brain did a flashback, it would probably like to remind you of good things, rather than the bad things.”
“But what’s memorable would be different for every person.”
Dr Zemmar added that the activity continued for 30 seconds after the patient’s heart stopped beating.
“This could possibly be a last recall of memories that we’ve experienced in life, and they replay through our brain in the last seconds before we die,” he said.
The study also raises questions about the point of death and whether it occurs when the heart stop beating, or when the brain activity ends.
Dr Zemmar explained that more studies would need to be conducted, adding that conclusions cannot be drawn from just one.
“I never felt comfortable to report one case,” he said.
However, one study from 2013 also offered interesting findings. In the study, US scientists looked at brainwave activity in healthy rats at the point of death, until 30 seconds after death.
Dr Zemmar described the similarities between his study and the research conducted in 2013 as ‘astonishing’.
“I think there’s something mystical and spiritual about this whole near-death experience,” he said.
“And findings like this – it’s a moment that scientists lives for.”