Source: Burlington Hawk-Eye
Source type: newspaper
Document type: article
Document title: “The Medical Treatment”
City of publication: Burlington, Iowa
Date of publication: 17 September 1901
Volume number: 63
Issue number: 85
|“The Medical Treatment.” Burlington Hawk-Eye 17 Sept. 1901 v63n85: p. 3.|
|William McKinley (medical care); William McKinley (medical condition); Roswell Park (public statements); Herman Mynter (public statements).|
|Matthew D. Mann; William McKinley; Herman Mynter; Roswell Park.|
The Medical Treatment
Dr. Roswell Park Explains Why Solid Food Was Given.
Buffalo, N. Y., Sept. 16.—The physicians and
surgeons attending President McKinley at first attributed his death to a weak
heart. The autopsy, however, surprised them. The heart action was weak, it is
true, but back of that was the real cause—gangreneous action along the path
of the bullet. Whether the bullet was poisoned, as one of the staff believes,
or whether gangrene resulted from laceration of the tissues which the president’s
weakened system could not resist, remains to be discovered. Blood poisoning
ensued and there was no remedy. Reviewing the case, it is recalled that when
it became known the president was dying the people asked who was to blame for
giving the president solid food before he was in condition to receive it. Replying
to this query Dr. Roswell Park said:
“The president was perfectly able to assimilate the food given him had it not been that the impoverished blood affected the heart.
“The heart refused to act properly without strong blood food, and that was why the toast soaked in hot beef juice was given him. He was not given coffee. He relished the food and asked for a cigar, but this was denied him. Everything which medical science knows was done for him and there was no mistake.”
Dr. Herman Mynter said:
“I believe the heart was weak. At the time the solid food was given him he was able to take it. There can be no mistake about that. I do not believe that the food in his stomach had much effect on the heart. It was believed from the first that his heart was weak, and that was why ether was given him instead of chloroform when Dr. Mann made the operation.
“The heart was believed to be in a fair condition to supply blood for the body until early yesterday morning. When the extremities became chilled the heart beats had been as usual, but the valves of the heart seemed to weaken so that the requisite of blood was not supplied to the system.
“Everything known to medical and surgical science was done to get the heart into proper working order, not to use scientific terms, which the public would not understand. It was necessary that his mind should be free from worry of any kind. It is reasonable to suppose that he has, in his conscious moments, worried over the condition of his wife and has thought much of matters of state.
“To relieve him of these matters he was kept most of the day under opiates which would not interfere with the action of the heart. But, as to the food, I believe with the other doctors, that it was wise to give him that toast softened by the beef juice. He had no coffee. That statement is wrong. The president was always cheerful, and appreciated the toast greatly. He had been strong enough to turn himself in bed without injury and it was to be supposed that he could take solid food in a very modified manner.”