Source: Northwestern Lancet
Source type: journal
Document type: editorial
Document title: “The Wounds of the President”
Date of publication: 15 September 1901
Volume number: 21
Issue number: 18
|“The Wounds of the President.” Northwestern Lancet 15 Sept. 1901 v21n18: p. 384.|
|William McKinley (medical care: personal response); William McKinley (surgery); William McKinley (recovery: speculation).|
|James A. Garfield; William McKinley.|
The Wounds of the President
The medical profession of the entire
country rejoice and congratulate themselves that President McKinley was surrounded
by such eminent surgical care and skill. From all accounts he was speedily removed
from the scene of his misfortune, and promptly placed in a new and modern emergency
hospital, where competent men were in attendance.
Within an hour three or four of the best men in Buffalo were in consultation, and their wisdom prompted them to make an exploration, and repair the wounds in the walls of the stomach. No one will for a moment question the line of surgical treatment.
Surgery of the stomach has made wonderful progress of late, sections being removed, ulcers excised, growths destroyed, or the entire organ eviscerated. Had the surgeons adopted a waiting line of treatment they would have been roundly condemned for not attempting the repair of two small wounds. Fortunately, perhaps, the accident happened at an opportune time, when the stomach was practically empty, and dangers from excursion of its contents were remote. The elevation of pulse and temperature indicated a rather profound state of shock, yet no more than might be expected in any surgery of the stomach.
The probabilities are toward recovery, provided there are no serious renal or cardiac complications that would be augmented by local inflammation.
If the president recovers, as every one devoutly hopes, surgery will be elevated to a higher plane than it now occupies, and his recovery will demonstrate to the public the differences in the methods of treatment at the time of Garfield’s wound and the wounds of to-day. Perhaps, too, it will call the country’s attention to the inexcusable omission from the Hall of Fame of the name of every illustrious medical man and eminent surgeon.