This past week, the New England Journal of Medicine published a report that an increased number of strokes are being seen in young patients with COVID-19. Coincidentally, while working last week, I read the CT scans of 3 emergency room patients who had uncommon blood clots. I found the cluster of cases to be unusual. The first patient was a 54-year-old man with a blood clot in the artery supplying his spleen. The loss of blood flow killed (infarcted) a portion of his spleen. The second case was a 71-year-old woman who clotted the artery supplying her intestine (the superior mesenteric artery (SMA)). Her small intestine died. Gas from the dead gut was then pushed into the liver, shown in the following image, and she soon passed away.
Portal venous gas due to SMA thrombosis and bowel necrosis
The third patient, a 57 year old man, developed a clot in his portal vein, a large vessel that carries blood and nutrients from the intestine to the liver. Although I didn’t have clinical history providing a confirmed COVID-19 diagnosis, I did speak to the ER physician and recommended she test these patients for the virus.
Blood clots in veins versus blood clots in arteries
Many people understand that veins can become clotted if you are inactive. Laying in bed for days and sitting for prolonged periods, such as when on a long plane flight or car ride can result in a deep venous thrombosis (DVT). These venous blood clots are dangerous because they can dislodge and float downstream to the heart where they are propelled into the artery leading to the lungs. It is here these clots can block blood flow to the lungs and cause serious health problems, including death.
Blood clots in arteries are different. An arterial clot doesn’t typically come from blood stagnation. Instead, an abnormality in either the clotting characteristics of the blood or a disease of the blood vessel lining which then incites an immune response, can both cause clotting. The parts of the body receiving diminished blood flow become deprived of nutrients and oxygen, a condition called ischemia. In time, the affected structures may die. This process can occur in the arteries supplying the brain (a stroke), those supplying vital organs, the limbs, or anywhere else.
It is now recognized that COVID-19 causes blood clots, both in arteries and in veins. The cause for this appears to be multifactorial. The virus damages the cells that line the blood vessels, the endothelium, and causes an immune response which, in itself, may cause increased viscosity of the blood. Dr. Maria Pavlis, a cardiologist working in a suburban hospital of NYC, told me last night that most of their patients with COVID-19 are now being placed on blood thinners.
Where does EMF fit in?
Evidence that EMF can cause a reaction in endothelial cells, increasing the risk for blood clot formation, was first described in 2004. EMF exposure may also induce Rouleaux formation, a reversible condition where red blood cells adhere to one another and become stacked, one on top of the other like a stack of coins. This phenomenon may occur with many conditions, including infections, connective tissue diseases and cancer. Rouleaux formation can be associated with increased viscosity of the blood and can cause the blockage of small arteries.
Dr. Magda Havas, PhD and Professor Emeritus at Trent University in Ontario, provided me with the following images. Both slides demonstrate blood smear specimens from the same patient and were collected within twenty minutes of each other. The first image was obtained before EMF exposure and is a normal blood sample. The second image was obtained after exposure to 10 minutes of EMF from a 2.45 GHz wifi router (at levels considered safe by international standards and well below FCC guidelines). Red blood cell stacking in the irradiated sample is easily appreciated.
My concern is that given the prevalence of the COVID virus and the ubiquity of EMF in our society, could it be that EMF generated Rouleaux formation is exacerbating the propensity for thrombosis in some patients with COVID-19?
Whether or not you have been exposed to the COVID-19 virus, we should all seek ways to reduce our EMF exposure, particularly during sleep. Hardwire computers, accessories, laptops and TVs wherever possible. Turn off EMF emitting devices, such as wifi routers and cell phones at night. Rouleaux formation should reverse, sleep will improve, melatonin production will increase and we will wake up better refreshed and healthier. I’ve made these changes in my own life and highly recommend you do the same!
For more information on possible interrelationships between EMF and COVID-19, please read Dr. Havas’ blog here.