Publication information

Philadelphia Medical Journal
Source type: journal
Document type: news column
Document title: “American News and Notes”
Author(s): anonymous
Date of publication: 2 November 1901
Volume number: 8
Issue number: 18
Pagination: 711-13 (excerpt below includes only pages 712 and 713)

“American News and Notes.” Philadelphia Medical Journal 2 Nov. 1901 v8n18: pp. 711-13.
book reviews (Medical and Surgical Report of the Case of the Late President of the United States); McKinley physicians (payment); McKinley assassination (government response); presidential assassinations (comparison).
Named persons
D. Hayes Agnew; D. Willard Bliss; Silas Boynton; Susan Ann Edson [middle initial wrong below]; James A. Garfield; Frank Hastings Hamilton; Conrad T. Jones; Charles McBurney; William McKinley; Robert Reyburn; Presley M. Rixey.
The following excerpt comprises two nonconsecutive portions of the news column (p. 712 and p. 713). Omission of text within the excerpt is denoted with a bracketed indicator (e.g., [omit]).

American News and Notes

     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 the 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 results 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.