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Source: St. Louis Medical Review
Source type: journal
Document type: article
Document title: “Emergency Hospital at the Pan-American”
Author(s): Shaerer, Herbert
Date of publication: 30 March 1901
Volume number: 43
Issue number: 13
Pagination: 219-20

Shaerer, Herbert. “Emergency Hospital at the Pan-American.” St. Louis Medical Review 30 Mar. 1901 v43n13: pp. 219-20.
full text
Pan-American Exposition (emergency hospital).
Named persons
Alexander Allan [misspelled below]; Vertner Kenerson; Roswell Park.
The article is accompanied on page 219 by an illustration of the emergency hospital.

From page 219: By Herbert Shaerer, Buffalo, N. Y.


Emergency Hospital at the Pan-American



     A very pretty hospital building stands near the west end of the Mall. Floor area rather than elevation is a prominent feature in the construction of this important adjunct to the Exposition. Utility, first last [sic] and all the time, is the prime consideration in this design, though it is by no means a case of utility unadorned. In conformity with the general Exposition plan, the free Spanish renaissance has been treated, in this instance, with a strong leaning towards the old mission interpretation.
     Having a frontage of 90 feet on the Mall, the main wing has a depth of 38 feet, with a height of but one story, except in the center, where it assumes the form of a square tower with a rounded top. This tower attains to the pretentious height of two stories, surmounted with two flagstaffs. One staff supports the Exposition flag and from the other waves the well-known Red Cross banner, the only universal international emblem that is recognized and reverenced in all countries.
     A rear wing one story high runs back from the center portion, a distance of 56 feet, with a width of 32 feet. This form of construction lends itself readily to this picturesque reminder of the early struggles of our first missionaries.
     Color, here as everywhere throughout the grounds, adds its mantle of beauty to the odd and in many cases obsolete methods of construction, penetrating, rather than clothing, the [219][220] building in the warm changing tints of the sunset. A low, wandering adobe mission house covered with heavy red tiling, its weather stains retouched by the gorgeous rays of the departing sun, may be readily imagined while looking at this rehabilitation of the past.
     Any antequated [sic] illusion that may be conveyed by the outside appearance of this building is, however, at once dispelled by a visit to the interior.
     Modern arrangements that are both convenient and sanitary mark every feature. Approved medical and surgical appliances have been carefully selected in regard especially for their adaptability to emergency work and the exigencies that are likely to arise.
     The main hospital entrance is from the Mall, opening directly into a handsome rotunda decorated with tropical plants and suitable hangings of pictures, drapery, etc.
     The main office is situated at the farther left-hand corner of this rotunda, where it is carefully tucked away under the staircase, forming an irregular alcove. It contains telephone and electrical annunciator and messenger call service, with other modern and necessary appurtenances. As this is lighted from above and encircled by a round gallery opening through the upper story, the effect is very pleasant and agreeable. The first floor front contains, in the extreme western wing, two male wards with seven cots each, a bath room, physicians’ office, a morgue and a linen closet. The eastern wing contains a woman’s ward, large enough to hold a dozen cots, with direct communication to the woman’s bath room. This wing also contains an office for the superintendent of nurses, private physician’s office, a linen closet and other conveniences.
     The upper story is intended for the use of the resident physician and the necessary attendants. It is fitted up with four pleasant, comfortable bed rooms and a bath room. The rear wing, extending back from the main entrance, contains the operating room, sterilizing department and instrument cases. Immediately across the hall is the emergency bath room and patients’ waiting room. Still farther down the corridor is located the kitchen, pantry and dining room, which is intended for the use of patients only, as the staff have their culinary department in the service building, situated but a few yards distant. In the extreme southern end of this wing is the storage room for the electrical ambulances; this room also contains a station for recharging the batteries, electricity for this purpose being brought from an electric circuit provided for the electric launches on the Grand Canal. In addition to the two electrical ambulances, a steam or gasoline motor ambulance will be provided, to be ready in case of a possible failure of the electrical current. The building is provided with natural gas for heating purposes and for cooking, when necessary, for the patients.
     Water, gas and electricity are carried to every part of the hospital in the most approved manner.
     The building is plastered throughout and rendered sanitary and germ proof, so far as possible, in every instance. The staff in attendance are uniformed to grade according to universal custom.
     In the matter of equipment and appliances, everything is of the newest and best. A new litter attracts considerable attention; it is carefully balanced and so arranged that one attendant can operate it easily and noiselessly, as it runs on two wheels about 20 inches in diameter, which are fitted with large inflated rubber tires. Sterilizing apparatus, with an apartment for instruments and another for towels and linen, is another necessary arrangement.
     Roswell Park, M. D., is the director; Vertner Kenerson, M. D., deputy director, and Dr. Alexander Allen is the resident physician, a staff which will at once inspire confidence in all who are acquainted with these gentlemen or their work. The efficiency of this department is an illustration of the manner in which the Exposition is designed and executed in all its departments. Everything has been carefully arranged according to a great comprehensive plan, the details of which have been worked out in every instance with careful, conscientious precision.
     In regard to the importance of this adjunct to the Exposition, it may be said that up to the first of March five hundred and four cases have been treated on the grounds, only one of which proved fatal. These include all forms of sickness and accidents to workmen employed upon the construction work. In this connection it is well to note that the number of cases treated at the Omaha Exposition was about three thousand, while the history of the hospital at the World’s Fair in Chicago gives a total of 11,602 medical and surgical cases treated, resulting in 69 deaths.
     It is hoped to have less use than this for the hospital at the Pan-American, though in the immense crowds who will attend no doubt many individuals will have occasion to appreciate the provision that has been made in this direction.



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