There are basically two types Dead, namely clinical death and biological death. Dead clinical is defined as the absence of pulse, heart rate, and respiration, while biological death is defined as the absence of brain activity.
Looking at this definition, you might assume that it would be easy to tell when someone has died but in some cases, it is not that simple. There are a number of medical conditions that can make a person appear dead.
Reporting from Medical News Today, Tuesday (18/8), one of these conditions is hypothermia. Where the body experiences a sudden and potentially fatal drop in temperature, usually caused by prolonged exposure to cold.
Hypothermia can cause your heart rate and breathing to slow down, making it almost undetectable. It is believed that hypothermia caused the death of newborns erroneously in Canada in 2013. The baby was born on the sidewalk in freezing cold temperatures. The doctor could not detect a pulse, and the baby was pronounced dead. Two hours later, the baby started moving.
Dr. Michael Klein of the University of British Columbia, Canada, says that babies exposed to cold temperatures can explain the situation. The whole circulation is stopped but the neurological condition of the child can be protected by cold.
Catalepsy and locked-in syndrome are examples of other conditions in which a living person can be mistaken for death. Catalepsy is characterized by conditions such as trance, slowed breathing, reduced sensitivity, and total immobility, which can last from several minutes to weeks. This condition can appear as a symptom of neurological disorders such as epilepsy and Parkinson’s disease.
In catalepsy, patients are aware of their surroundings, but they experience complete paralysis of the voluntary muscles, with the exception of the muscles that control eye movements. In 2014, The Daily Mail reported on 39 year old British woman Kate Allatt who had catalepsy.
Unaware of his condition, the doctor declared his brain dead. Medical officer, family, and friends stood by her bed and discussed whether or not to turn off her life aid. Allatt heard it all, but he could not tell them that he was fully conscious.
“Locked-in syndrome like being buried alive. You can think, you can feel, you can hear, but you simply can’t communicate, “Allatt said.