• Near-death experiences occurring to persons who have survived near-terminal events, such as cardiac arrests or profound comas, have been widely reported in the lay literature; however, there is little documentation of such events in the medical literature. These experiences generally have a consistent core of euphoric affect, an out-of-the-body state, encountering a being of light, meeting others (especially dead relatives), and going from a dark tunnel to a world of light. This core remains consistently present despite wide variations in the religious or cultural background of the person. Such an event occurred to a 7-year-old near-drowning victim. Pediatricians should be alerted to the potential need for counseling in children who have survived near-fatal events.
(Am J Dis Child 1983;137:959-961)