American News and Notes [excerpt]
Dr. Rixey’s Report
on the President’s Case.—Dr. Presley M. Rixey has just published
his report of the wounding, illness, and death of the late President
McKinley. The report is remarkable for its exhibition, in the closest
possible detail, of the exact state of the patient during his illness.
It is in the shape of a ship’s log, showing at intervals of a very
few minutes, sometimes a single minute, rarely more than an hour,
the patient’s progress toward the end. But perhaps the most valuable
datum contained, from a medical point of view, is the accurate registering
of the medication of the case—not a single morsel of food, a dose
of medicine, or a bath is omitted in this account. Included in the
running story, at the proper intervals, are t[h]e bulletins which
were given to the public as the case progressed. The report begins
with an account of the first operation [at?] the emergency hospital,
September 6, the two wounds being described exactly as they have
been treated in the preceding medical reports. On the eighth and
last day of the President’s life, September 13, Dr. Rixey’s report
opened with this entry at 12.20 A. M., “restless, and complains
of headache.” Whiskey and water was given, and a perspiration was
induced, but at 1 A. M. is this entry “very restless and wants to
get up; tired.” The same medical treatment was continued, involving
a plentiful use of oxygen, digitalis, strychnine and morphia and
peptonoids. Still at 4.55 o’clock the patient’s condition is reported
as grave. The oxygen was continued. There was no response to stimulants.
Atropine and morphia were injected; the patient was almost pulseless.
The last entry was made at 9 P. M., and there was a gap of five
hours between that and the end. It read, “heart sounds very feeble.
Oxygen continued. Slight reflex movements, and at 2.15 A. M., September
14, 1901, the President died.” The cause of death is thus stated:
“Gangrene of both walls of stomach and pancreas, following gunshot
wounds.” Attached to the report are the resu[l]ts of the autopsies
and the chemical and bacteriological examinations, which have already
been published in the medical journals.
The Expenses of President
McKinley’s Illness.—In the case of President Garfield, who lingered
80 days, a board of audit finally agreed to compensate the surgeons
and physicians in the following proportions: Dr. Bliss, $6500; Drs.
Agnew and Hamilton, $5000 each; Drs. Reyburn and Boynton, $4000
each; and Dr. Susan B. Edson, $3000. The board also allowed different
parties $5929 for services and supplies, including $1500 to the
Central Railroad of New Jersey, and $1162 to C. Jones, of Elberon.
Extra compensation was allowed certain Government employés [sic],
and the total expenditure was $57,000. It is estimated that an appropriation
of more than $100,000 will soon be asked from Congress to pay the
physicians and surgeons of the late President. Dr. McBurney’s bill
is expected to be at least $25,000, and the other physicians will
file claims in proportion.