Clinical death is a transitional stage between life and biological death. At the same time, the central nervous system does not function, however, the metabolic process is still taking place in the tissues. Sometimes clinical death is equated with another condition - coma.
Differences between coma and clinical death
Clinical death and coma are not identical concepts. Coma is previously a serious condition in which there is a progressive suppression of all functions of the central nervous system: impaired reactions to external stimuli, loss of consciousness. In this state, a person retains the ability to breathe, and his heart beats. This is determined by the pulse on the main arteries.
Coma can go into deep coma, which can damage the brain.
In its initial form, this condition can be one of the signs of clinical death. However, unlike coma, clinical death is not only loss of consciousness, but also respiratory arrest, cessation of heartbeats. Often, after resuscitation actions, upon exiting clinical death, the human body goes into a coma, which has a varying degree of depth. In this case, doctors determine whether a person managed to get out of a state of clinical death before receiving brain damage or not. If the brain has been damaged, the patient falls into a deep coma.
Signs and stages of clinical death
Signs of clinical death are: absence of palpitations, general pallor, respiratory arrest, lack of pupil response to light. The central nervous system ceases to function, but metabolic processes in the tissues continue to occur. Clinical death has three stages. The first is a pre-gonal state, a person feels a general weakness, his consciousness is confused, there is a blue discoloration of the skin or their pallor, absence or weakness of the pulse in the peripheral arteries, the difficulty of determining blood pressure appears.
The second stage of clinical death is the agonal stage (agony). During this period, there is a sharp activation of the activity of all parts of the body. A characteristic external sign of this stage is short deep breathing, accompanied by wheezing. Consciousness is often absent because the central nervous system is impaired. In the third stage, the body gives up and turns off the "life support system". During this short period, doctors have the opportunity to return a person to life, at this time the accumulated supply of oxygen and essential substances is consumed in the cells of the body.
If the blood flow stops suddenly, the death period can be up to 10 minutes.
If during clinical death resuscitation actions were not carried out, or they were ineffective, biological death occurs, which is irreversible. Clinical death lasts 5-6 minutes following cardiac and respiratory arrest. After this time, it is no longer possible to restore vital functions.