Nicholas Comninellis

My Posts

July 2012

2012 Angola

How Would You Treat This? – Angola Day 24

  The photo above is the upper tibia of Ezekiel – the mature man about whom I wrote on Angola Day 23. The black cavity is the space from where four days earlier we excised the necrotic bone of osteomyelitis. What’s left is a thin remnant of bone on the posterior surface of his tibia. […]

2012 Angola

Life On His Knees – Angola Day 20

  Emergency patients I saw today at Hospital Cristo Rei: a lady five months pregnant with interuterine fetal demise – very sad, an elderly man with starvation and end stage tuberculosis barely breathing, a fellow my age with a sudden stroke and hemiplegia, a one-year old with pneumonia no better after three weeks of treatment,

2012 Angola

Helping Babies Breathe – Angola Day 17

  What’s the most vulnerable minute in person’s entire life? The very first minute following birth. During those few seconds the baby must transition from receiving oxygen from the mother via umbilical cord to clearing its own airways, starting respiration, and quickly shunting blood to lungs for the first time. Many children fail to survive

2012 Angola

Advantages of Leprosy? – Angola Day 15

  Today I was making inpatient rounds at Hospital Cristo Rei when I overheard, “I’m so glad God allowed me to contract leprosy, because it’s only here in treatment that I learned about Jesus. All those ‘healthy’ people in my town – they still know nothing of God’s mercy.” Such a stunning statement! Our normal,

2012 Angola

Greatest Killer Of Children? – Angola Day 11

  Maria, the eight-month old in this photo, has been coughing for two weeks. She arrived here at Hospital Cristo Rei on the same day as I. Maria was breathing heavily, coughing constantly, and her chest demonstrated every sign of pneumonia. Her chest X-ray showed the right upper lung saturated with infection. Were she in

2012 Angola

Orthopedics In The Rough – Angola Day 9

  Senhor Eduardo was riding his tiny motor cycle down one of Angola’s “unimproved” roads when he struck a pot hole and landed on a boulder. What results was the injury in this X-ray above. Most concerning is that this fracture occurred five months ago. Eduardo was treated with 3 months flat on his back

2012 Angola

Restoring Vision – Angola Day 8

  Looks like a modern eye center in North America, doesn’t it? Actually, I took this photo today in Benguela, Angola – home of the Boa Vista Eye Center. Boa Vista was launched in about 1994 by my Swiss colleague for Kalukembe Hospital, Urs Pedro Bierly. Today it is lead by John Clements, a Board-certified,

2012 Angola

Making Money Instead Of War – Angola Day 5

  My first two years living in Angola were in the midst of this nation’s civil war, which started in 1961 and escalated in 1974. A prototypical “Blood Diamonds War,” it was financed primarily by sale of oil and gems. A durable peace finally came in 2002. And what of these natural resources? Angola today

2012 Angola, INMED Grads In Action

Are You Pursuing A Calling?

  You struggled for years through undergrad and graduate school. You muscled past hundreds of exams and shouldered enormous financial debt. You endured in spite of taunting from your peers and self-doubt from within. You crossed the finish line with a fine education and credentials both hard won and well deserved. What career track is

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