Antarctica, 1961: A Soviet Surgeon Has to Remove His Own Appendix

The Atlantic (archives)
Alexis C. Madrigal Mar 14 2011, 11:15 AM ET
Russian Surgeon, removes his own appendix
Russian Surgeon, Leonid Rogozov, removes his own appendix

If you think House and the guy who James Franco played in 127 Hours are tough, you haven’t heard of Leonid Rogozov.

In 1961, Rogozov was stationed at a newly constructed Russian base in Antarctica. The 12 men inside were cut off from the outside world by the polar winter by March of that year. In April, the 27-year-old Rogozov began to feel ill, very ill. His symptoms were classic: he had acute appendicitis. “He knew that if he was to survive he had to undergo an operation,” the British Medical Journal recounted. “But he was in the frontier conditions of a newly founded Antarctic colony on the brink of the polar night. Transportation was impossible. Flying was out of the question, because of the snowstorms. And there was one further problem: he was the only physician on the base.”

There was no question that he’d have to operate. The pain was intolerable and he knew he was getting worse. He recorded his thoughts in his journal:

I did not sleep at all last night. It hurts like the devil! A snowstorm whipping through my soul, wailing like a hundred jackals. Still no obvious symptoms that perforation is imminent, but an oppressive feeling of foreboding hangs over me … This is it … I have to think through the only possible way out: to operate on myself … It’s almost impossible … but I can’t just fold my arms and give up.

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I-5 reopens 11 hours after fiery crash kills 3 truckers

By staff Published: Nov 6, 2012 at 8:38 AM PDT 
Last Updated: Nov 7, 2012 at 12:16 PM PDT
Three truck drivers are dead as crews clean up the aftermath of a crash Monday, Nov. 5, 2012, on Interstate 5 just west of Bakersfield, Calif.

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KBAK/KBFX) — A fiery crash involving three big rigs closed northbound Interstate 5 just west of Bakersfield for roughly 11 hours from late Monday to early Tuesday.

All lanes reopend around 9:15 a.m. Tuesday. Traffic had been diverted onto northbound Highway 99 and westbound Highway 46, then back onto I-5.

All three truck drivers died in the crash. The Kern County coroner’s office identified two of the drivers Wednesday as 45-year-old Robert Puga, of Lancaster, Calif., and 55-year-old Johnny Hannah from Oregon.

The third driver’s name was withheld.

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Boy revived after heart stops during Rohnert Park baseball game

Published: Saturday, April 13, 2013 at 3:00 a.m.
Last Modified: Saturday, April 13, 2013 at 10:18 p.m.

An 8-year-old baseball player collapsed Saturday in Rohnert Park after being struck in the chest by a pitch, requiring CPR and a defibrillator to get his young heart going again.

The boy was breathing and conscious when he was taken to Santa Rosa Memorial Hospital and later airlifted to Oakland Children’s Hospital, said Aaron Johnson, director of baseball operations for Rohnert Park Cal Ripken Baseball.

The boy’s condition benefited from the presence of two off-duty paramedics who immediately began CPR.

“God had his hand on this kid’s heart,” said Johnson, who also is a sergeant for the Rohnert Park Department of Public Safety.

Johnson declined to release the boy’s name. Parents and others posting on the league’s Facebook page named him as Matthew Henry.

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Can catheter ablation of AF ever be compatible with a less-is-more approach?

From Trials and Fibrillations with Dr John Mandrola
Mar 18, 2013 10:56 EDT

Here’s a challenge: Pick up a cardiology or electrophysiology journal and show me a negative piece about catheter ablation of atrial fibrillation. It’s true; our world is mostly free of doubters.

Then there is the real world, one populated with other medical specialties, and those daring enough to ask, “What, exactly, are you ablating?” As it turns out, not all doctors think so highly of the notion of ablating a disease that we do not fully understand.

Dr Rita Redberg, influential cardiologist and editor of the JAMA Internal Medicine “Less is More” series, said this about ablating AF:

“Because ablation has never been studied in a randomized blinded fashion, we cannot know whether patients experience fewer symptoms after ablation because subjective symptoms frequently decrease following a procedure or whether the ablation itself was beneficial.

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Santa Rosa family grieves 11-year-old who died in her sleep

Published: Thursday, March 28, 2013 at 7:17 p.m.

By all appearances Oreonna Andrews was a healthy 11-year-old girl who loved to sing loud, dreamed of high school and was almost as big a fan of Raiders football as her father is.

Oreonna Andrews
Oroenna Andrews              Family Photo

A week ago today, Andrews did not wake up on one of the last mornings of the spring break recess after sleeping over at her grandmother’s home.

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