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Vital Signs, Biomarkers, and Carboxyhemoglobin

Vital signs are signs of life that guide doctors as they take care of patients. The original signs of temperature, pulse, and respiration provide snap shots of human physiology that are worth thousands of words.

Modern computerized vital signs include holter electrocardiogram (ECG), pulse oximeter, capnogram, and acoustic respiration. These record videos of human physiology, which are worth millions of words; and they unlock the mysteries of covariant conditions such as the tachy brady rhythm of the sick sinus syndrome.

Biomarkers are part of vital signs that change during abnormal metabolism. For example, carboxyhemoglobin, which is carbon monoxide in the blood, increases because of abnormal metabolism that produces acidosis.

Carboxyhemoglobin (SpCO) is a circulating biomarker that increases in the extremities of patients with DVT.

This website focuses on blood clots and diseases associated with venous thromboembolism (VTE). Clots first develop as DVT inside muscles and cause inflammation. Next they migrate as VTE into the heart. Blood clots in the heart, thrombodextocardia causes palpitations and premature heartbeats. Finally, clots stop in the lungs (PE), where they interfere with breathing.


da Vinci drawing of Man

Leonardo da Vinci: focus on the Gestalt

Blood clots are natural glue made by our body to stop bleeding from injured blood vessels. Without bloody glue, we would bleed to death when we cut our skin. Big injuries cause our bodies to make a lot of blood clot glue. Cancer causes blood clots. Infections cause blood clots. Bad circulation causes blood clots. Obesity slows down blood flow and causes blood clots; and pieces of blood clots often break loose from sore veins and migrate into the heart, where clots cause palpitations and premature beats of the heart.

Blood Clots and the Pulmonary Valve: PVC

Leonardo believed in taking time to focus his attention and use his imagination. Venous blood clots have many effects, but none are as important as those, which develop as clots pass through the pulmonary valve. The pulmonary valve has three leaflets. Imagine what goes on inside the heart when an elongated tubular clot (VTE) moves into the valve. Visualize the buildup of pressure inside the right ventricular outflow tract (RVOT) as the nose of a blood clot reduces blood flow through the valve. Suddenly the pressure in the RVOT triggers a protective heartbeat called PVC (premature ventricular contraction) that stops dangerous stretching of the ventricle that can lead to sudden fibrillation. PVC is a protective reflex that prevents sudden unexpected cardiac arrest and death!

How Does A Healthy Heart Respond to Blood Clots? What happens to breathing?

What happens when a big ball of soft glue migrates into a muscular heart pump that narrows down into the pulmonary valve? Blood clots go in and out of the pulmonary valve which pound the ball like a tiny three sided jackhammer. The valve pulverizes clots into pieces of sticky purple gel. Blood clots cause flip-flop palpitations and skipped beats as the move through the heart; and later, bloody debris moves to the lungs, where it causes wheezing, difficulty breathing and panic attacks.

Premature Ventricular Contractions of the Heart

What happens during 130 milliseconds when a torpedo-shaped sticky purple blood clot passes in and out of the pulmonary valve?

Blood clots enter the valve and the nose of the clot narrows the opening. A small clot has a big effect on blood flow through the valve. A 20% reduction of the valve size reduces blood flow by 50%, which causes a premature increase of pressure inside the outflow tract. Myofibrils in the outflow tract of the right ventricle (RVOT) contain intrinsic pacemaker cells, which become excited when they are stretched. 'Ectopic' pacemaker cells in the RVOT start premature protective ventricular contractions.

A premature right ventricular contraction causes the valve to close and grip the nose of the clot, which causes the right ventricle to develop a rotating isometric contraction that tears open the neck of the clot.

The right ventricle is intimately connected to the left ventricle by a common wall, and blood clots in the pulmonary valve prevent BOTH right and left ventricles from contracting. The right ventricle dilates as the left ventricle partly decompresses and the heart skips a pulse as it contracts without pumping (pulsus interruptus).

After the clot passes through the pulmonary valve, the right ventricle decompresses and pumps a increased volume; and the heart flops back to the right as both ventricles empty. Clots cause PVC with flip-flop palpitaions and skipped heartbeats.

Think about how the parts are connected and take time to use your imagination

  • Small blood clots cause the heart to skip one beat.
  • Elongated clots cause the heart to skip every other beat.
  • Clots cause flip-flop palpitations as they pass through the pulmonary valve.
  • Large clots cause the heart to skip consecutive beats.
  • Short runs of consecutive skipped beats lead to fainting spells.
  • Long runs of skipped beats precede and lead to unconscious anoxic convulsions.
  • Unconscious seizures perform self-CPR.
  • Tonic clonic contractions by the arms and legs pump extra blood into the right ventricle.
  • Convulsions (seizures) expel clots that obstruct the pulmonary valve.
  • CPR performs the 'Heimlich' maneuver on an obstructed pulmonary valve.
  • Self-CPR restores blood flow into the lungs.
  • CPR reanimates someone suffering from continuous thrombo dextrocardia pulsus interruptus.

Grand Mal Epilepsy, CPR, and Sudden Unexpected Death

Large sticky purple blood clots inside the heart block the outflow of blood at the pulmonary valve. This causes continuous skipped heartbeats and stops blood flow into the lungs and brain, which is sudden thrombocardiac arrest.

Skipped heartbeats cause brain acidosis that triggers unconscious grand mal convulsions. Rhythmic contractions of the arms and legs pump blood into the right ventricle of the heart; and repeating pulsating thrusts of blood inside the heart against the obstructed valve expel clots, like the Heimlich maneuver.

Epileptic convulsions perform unconscious self-CPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitation) that restores blood flow into the lungs and brain, which reanimates an epileptic patient suffering from a sudden thrombocardiac arrest. Failure to expel clots out of the obstructed valve leads to Sudden Unexpected Death in Epilepsy (SUDEP).


Physiology involves covariant processes that include respiration, circulation and metabolism. It will melt your brain if you think of everything at once. So take time and focus on one thing until it becomes familiar, and then look at something else. Gradually 'see' the whole picture, which is the Gestalt.

Blood contains impurities that change the heart rhythm, pulmonary function, and cerebral cognition. Clots are variable. Detritus is coagulated debris like fine sand, while thrombi are like small pebbles full of purple 'glue'. VTE in the heart cause skipped beats, while loose debris (detritus) clogs up pulmonary alveoli, which which causes panic attacks.

Not everyone can go to medical school, but most people can figure out that clots in the heart cause skipped beats that lead to fainting spells, and loose debris causes asthma with panic attacks.

Take time to 'see' the Gestalt and find joy in your journey as you learn more about blood clots.


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