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Original Research

Open Access

Near-death experiences and electrocardiogram patterns in out-of-hospital cardiac arrest survivors: a prospective observational study


1Department of Family Medicine Medical School, University of Maribor

2Center for Emergency Medicine, Ljubljanska

3Department of Family Medicine, Medical School, University of Maribor

DOI: 10.22514/SV62.102011.4 Vol.6,Issue 2,October 2011 pp.31-35

Published: 31 October 2011

*Corresponding Author(s): ZALIKA KLEMENC-KETIS E-mail:


Aim. To determine the effect of several factors, that are a part of cardiac arrest and resuscitation, on the incidence of near-death experiences (NDEs).

Methods. We conducted a prospective observational study in the three largest hospitals in Slovenia in a consecutive sample of patients after out-of-hospital primary cardiac arrest. The presence of NDE was assessed with the self-administered Greyson’s near-death experiences scale. The electrocardiogram pattern at the beginning of resuscitation was recorded. Main outcome measure was the presence of near-death experiences. Univariate analysis was used.

Results. The study included 52 patients. There were 42 (80.8%) males in the sample; median age ± standard deviation of the patients was 53.1 ± 14.5 years. Near-death experiences were reported by 11 (21.2%) patients. Patients with ventricular fibrillation had significantly less NDEs than other patients (12.2% vs. 54.5%, P = 0.006). Patients with pulseless electrical activity had significantly more NDEs than others (60.0% vs. 11.9%, P = 0.003). Patients with asystole and pulseless electrical fibrillation had significantly more NDEs than patients who had ventricular fibrillation and ventricular tachycardia (60.0% vs. 11.9%, P = 0.003). Patients with at least one defibrillation attempt had significantly less near-death experiences than others (62.5% vs. 13.6%, P = 0.007).

Conclusion. Our study found a possible correlation between electrocardiogram pattern in cardiac arrest patients and the incidence of near-death experiences. Further studies should address this problem in larger samples.


near-death experienc-es, electrocardiogram, heart arrest, incidence, prospective study, resus-citation

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ZALIKA KLEMENC-KETIS,STEFEK GRMEC,JANKO KERSNIK. Near-death experiences and electrocardiogram patterns in out-of-hospital cardiac arrest survivors: a prospective observational study. Signa Vitae. 2011. 6(2);31-35.


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