Article |

Childhood Near-Death Experiences

Melvin Morse, MD; Paul Castillo, MD; David Venecia, MD; Jerrold Milstein, MD; Donald C. Tyler, MD
Am J Dis Child. 1986;140(11):1110-1114. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1986.02140250036031.
Text Size: A A A
Published online

• We nonselectively interviewed 11 patients aged 3 through 16 years who had survived critical illnesses, including cardiac arrests and profound comas. Any memory of a time they were unconscious was considered to be a near-death experience (NDE) and was recorded. Seven of these children had memories that included (1) being out of the physical body (six patients), (2) entering darkness (five patients), (3) being in a tunnel (four patients), and (4) deciding to return to the body (three patients). We also interviewed 29 age-matched survivors of illnesses that required intubation, narcotics, benzodiazepines, and admission to an intensive care unit. None of them had any memories of the time they were unconscious. In our study population, NDEs were clearly associated with surviving a critical illness. The elements of NDEs reported are similar to those previously described in adults. No children described elements of depersonalization as part of their NDEs. A core NDE, triggered by the process of dying or resuscitation efforts, may be a natural developmental experience. We present a neurophysiologic hypothesis as to the cause of NDEs.

(AJDC 1986;140:1110-1114)


Sign In to Access Full Content

Don't have Access?

Register and get free email Table of Contents alerts, saved searches, PowerPoint downloads, CME quizzes, and more

Subscribe for full-text access to content from 1998 forward and a host of useful features

Activate your current subscription (AMA members and current subscribers)

Purchase Online Access to this article for 24 hours





Meets CME requirements for:
Browse CME for all U.S. States
Accreditation Information
The American Medical Association is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education to provide continuing medical education for physicians. The AMA designates this journal-based CME activity for a maximum of 1 AMA PRA Category 1 CreditTM per course. Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity. Physicians who complete the CME course and score at least 80% correct on the quiz are eligible for AMA PRA Category 1 CreditTM.
Note: You must get at least of the answers correct to pass this quiz.
You have not filled in all the answers to complete this quiz
The following questions were not answered:
Sorry, you have unsuccessfully completed this CME quiz with a score of
The following questions were not answered correctly:
Commitment to Change (optional):
Indicate what change(s) you will implement in your practice, if any, based on this CME course.
Your quiz results:
The filled radio buttons indicate your responses. The preferred responses are highlighted
For CME Course: A Proposed Model for Initial Assessment and Management of Acute Heart Failure Syndromes
Indicate what changes(s) you will implement in your practice, if any, based on this CME course.
Citing articles are presented as examples only. In non-demo SCM6 implementation, integration with CrossRef’s "Cited By" API will populate this tab (http://www.crossref.org/citedby.html).
Submit a Comment


Some tools below are only available to our subscribers or users with an online account.

Sign In to Access Full Content

Related Content

Customize your page view by dragging & repositioning the boxes below.