‘1 out of 1 dies’
Surveys about our fears have shown that most people fear public speaking more than they fear death.
New information on death seems to demand a recount on those surveys, but more on that later.
When we must stand in front of a group — large or small — we all fear rejection. This causes something called social anxiety.
Unlike death, having social anxiety causes no lasting harm.
After having to speak before an audience, most people will think of the real or imaged mistakes they made. In time that will fade. Generally, so does their fear of speaking in public.
Unfortunately, some will come to love hearing their on voice as they speak to a crowd and they can’t stop talking.
That is when compared to listening to such a speaker, the thought of death doesn’t seem that bad.
However, new studies show that death may be a little more scary than we thought.
Scientists believe people are aware they’re dead because their consciousness continues to work after the body has stopped showing signs of life.
That means that someone who dies may hear a doctor say “Call it at (whatever the time was the heart stopped beating.)”
Yes, it is thought that while your heart stops beating, you can still be aware of what is going on around you for some period of time.
Dr. Sam Parnia, director of critical care and resuscitation research at NYU Langone School of Medicine in New York City, is looking at people who suffered cardiac arrest, technically died, but were later revived.
He is conducting the largest study of this type ever carried out. Some of those studied say they had awareness of full conversations going on around them after they were officially pronounced dead.
Death is defined as the point at which the heart no longer beats, and blood flow to the brain is cut off.
These accounts of what happens to people after they were technically dead were verified by the medical and nursing staff present at the time.
“Technically, that’s how you get the time of death – it’s all based on the moment when the heart stops. Once that happens, blood no longer circulates to the brain, which means brain function halts almost instantaneously. You lose all your brain stem reflexes – your gag reflex, your pupil reflex, all that is gone,” Parnia said
In 2013, researchers at the University of Michigan looked at the electrical signals inside the brains of nine anaesthetized rats having an induced heart attack.
They found activity patterns which are linked to a “hyper-alerted state” in the brief period after the heart stopped. This suggests there is evidence that there’s a burst of brain energy as someone dies.
This study has great significance to me. When I was in the sixth grade, I had mumps that become a much more dangerous illness.
I spent six weeks in the local hospital. My father later told me that the doctors told him they thought I was going to die. He didn’t want to upset my mother, so he “forgot” to tell her.
At one point, doctors thought I was getting pneumonia and took me for a chest X-ray.
While standing in front of a very cold X-ray film case, I remember wondering if they kept those in a freezer before using them. Suddenly I was seeing what can only be described as a black snow falling in the room.
I fell to the floor and remember a nurse shouting that my heart had stopped. As everybody in that room worked to revive me, I was aware of everything that was happening.
A doctor injected some medication directly into my heart and I sat up and took a deep breath. I was back among the living.
From that experience, I find Parnia’s research very interesting. Really, everybody should find it interesting because death is an experience we will all share eventually.
A close friend once said: “The statistics on death are staggering. One out of one dies.”