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
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  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
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.