When a loved one must stay in a medical facility’s critical care unit, that’s often a scary time for the family and close friends. They know the patient is at risk of a life-threatening occurrence that the CCU staff aims to prevent or resolve if it does happen. To learn more about a medical center that has a premier CCU, a person may seek out information such as Lahey Hospital details online.

One factor of the CCU that is often the most difficult of all is when the family must make a decision whether to have their loved one removed from life support. Doctors may provide guidance to help with the decision without putting on pressure one way or another. Some patients have an advance directive in place that explains when they want to accept the end of life rather than use strategies known as extreme measures. When this is not the case, family members must decide.

An intriguing aspect of these departments, since patients are in critical condition and doctors intervene when the cardiac or respiratory system fails, is that near-death experiences are more likely to occur in these units than in most other areas of the hospital. In fact, research indicates that more than 10 percent of people who have suffered cardiac arrest and survived report these experiences, commonly called an NDE. This is not just a fringe topic, as studies have been published in scientific journals and books have been written by qualified medical staff. Nurses and other staff members have provided interviews to reputable publications about what patients have reported. The patients themselves also have given interviews, allowing the world at large to learn more about what seems to occur in consciousness when the heart stops beating.

A person who has been through an NDE may want to talk about the episode with a staff member at the hospital. These individuals also may seek emotional support from a counseling therapist, a clergy member, or from people who have been through something similar. Nursing forums and other message boards frequented by CCU staff members often include threads discussing NDEs among their patients and the common features of those experiences.

Learning About Reports of Near-Death Experiences at Critical Care Units