Tag Archives: health unit

Five Keys to Safer Food

From the Health Unit: 


Health Unit: What is Gastroenteritis?

From the Health Unit:

What is gastroenteritis?

The stomach “bug” is usually a sickness caused by a virus which spreads from person to person or through food contamination.  Symptoms usually appear 1 to 2 days after exposure. Symptoms are often mild and usually only last a day or two. You may experience some of the following symptoms:

  • Upset Stomach
  • Diarrhea
  • Vomiting
  • Fever
  • Headache
  • Abdominal cramps

Continue reading

National Nurses Week: Thank You Melissa And Isabel!

From Philip Nelson (HU):


In celebrating National Nurses Week, I would like to recognize the hard work and commitment of our Embassy’s two registered nurses (RN’s), Melissa Santana and Isabel Couto. Continue reading

Your Heart Health

From the Health Unit:

Your Heart Health!

The Facts:

  • Heart disease (HD) is still the number one cause of death in the U.S.
  • More than 82 million American adults have one type of HD (that’s 1 in 3 people).
  • One death occurs every 39 seconds.
  • HD is the #1 killer in women 20+. Kills more than the next top 4 causes of death combined.
  • HD is 90% preventable.
  • If all forms of HD were eliminated, life expectancy would rise by 7 years. Continue reading

The 12 Days of Trauma

From the Health Unit:


(UPI) A U.S. trauma expert tallied up the cost of some holiday injuries and said 12 days of trauma can break the bank financially, physically and emotionally.

Dr. Thomas Esposito, chief of the Division of Trauma, Surgical Critical Care and Burns at Loyola University Medical Center near Chicago, said Americans are reporting they plan to spend an average of $854 this year on holiday gifts, but that is pennies compared to the cost of an unplanned trip to the emergency department. Continue reading


From the Health Unit

Our bodies have a sophisticated fluid management system.  This balance is important as approximately 75% of the body is made up of water.  We are constantly losing fluids throughout the day as we breathe, sweat, urinate, and defecate.  But this fluid is easily replaced by drinking. Continue reading

Health Unit: Do You Suffer From Back Pain?

untitledDo You Suffer from Back Pain?

Eighty to ninety percent of people in the United States will suffer from back pain at some time during their lives. Disability from low back pain is second only to the common cold as a cause of lost work time and is the most common cause of disability in people under 45 years of age. Continue reading

Meet Mission Brasilia’s New FS Health Practitioner

pnelsonI would like to take this informal opportunity to introduce myself as your new Foreign Service Health Practitioner for Mission Brazil. My name is, Philip Nelson, and I just recently arrived to post. I am a Physician Assistant by training and studied at the Medical University of South Carolina, in Charleston, South Carolina. I have spent the majority of my career as a faculty member at MUSC, teaching and working clinically in the emergency department and trauma center. My medical interests include emergency and trauma care, wound care, sports medicine, and preventive medicine. I look forward to meeting, working with, and caring for your medical needs. Please feel free to stop in the Health Unit and say hello! Continue reading

Insufficient Sleep

By Joseph N. Rawlings, M.D.  Regional Medical Officer/Psychiatrist

Sleep problems are among the most common presentations to Embassy and Consulate Health Units.  For some, the problem is transient and is associated with specific stressors such as travel over several time zones, extra work or family commitments, or temporary changes in routine. For others, sleep disorders or insufficient sleep may be chronic problems. Both insufficient sleep and disorders of sleep are associated with health risks. This article discusses the risks of insufficient sleep. Continue reading


RSO & Med Unit Briefing


New Year Resolutions: A New Year, a New You?

By Joseph N. Rawlings, M.D. Regional Medical Officer/Psychiatrist
Many of us see the New Year as a defined point at which to make some improvement in our lives. Forty-five percent of all Americans make annual resolutions, with the focus of most on addressing a stubborn habit or otherwise altering a behavior; weight loss, organization, staying fit, and reaching financial stability are among the most common. These admirable resolutions are kept for a while, with about 75% of Americans reporting maintenance of their goals for the first week of the New Year. Long term, however, only about 8% are successful. Continue reading

Local Doctor Survey

Local Doctor Survey

Have you seen a new doctor recently? Someone you liked but the rest of the Embassy community might not know about? Or do you have experiences to share about doctors the Health Unit has referred you to?

Please take the time to let us know any good or bad reviews you may have. We are hoping to add some new doctors to our referral list and would like your input. Your specific responses will be kept confidential, but your experiences help to shape the healthcare that we recommend. Continue reading