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

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

Comments for: Antarctica, 1961: A Soviet Surgeon Has to Remove His Own Appendix
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Date: March 30, 2013 11:22PM

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.”