Publication information

Daily Picayune
Source type: newspaper
Document type: article
Document title: “Authoritative Description of the Operation Performed on the President”
Author(s): anonymous
City of publication: New Orleans, Louisiana
Date of publication: 13 September 1901
Volume number: 65
Issue number: 232
Part/Section: 1
Pagination: 2

“Authoritative Description of the Operation Performed on the President.” Daily Picayune 13 Sept. 1901 v65n232: part 1, p. 2.
full text
William McKinley (surgery).
Named persons
Matthew D. Mann; William McKinley; Eugene Wasdin.

Authoritative Description of the Operation Performed on the President

     New York, Sept. 12.—The New York Medical Journal, in its issue this week, will print the following account of the operation upon President McKinley, following his shooting at Buffalo last Friday. This report is furnished by a Buffalo physician, who was present at the operation. The account says:
     The hospital internes removed the president’s clothing, ascertained the location of the wounds, and made ready for the surgeons, who had been summoned by telephone. Dr. Mann administered one-fourth of a grain of morphine hypoderically [sic], which served a good purpose in alleviating nerve strain.
     Dr. Wasdin began the administration of ether at 5:20 o’clock, one hour and fifteen minutes after the wound was inflicted. The first, or uppermost shot, went through the president’s clothing and made an abrasion about the center of the sternum. The bullet was found inside the waistcoat, and did no essential harm. The clothing was burned by the explosion of the powder at this point.
     The president took the ether kindly, and was well under its influence within the next ten minutes. The abdomen having been asceptically prepared, an incision 3 inches long was made perpendicular to the body, and including the opening made by the ball—a 32-caliber—that was located 4 inches below the left nipple, and an inch and a half to the left of the median line. The incision went through a deep layer of fat before the peritoneum was reached, hence the incision was enlarged another inch. A piece of cloth—probably a bit of undershirt—was found in the track of the missile, which looked as if it had been “punched out” by the bullet. Upon opening the peritoneum a bullet hole was discovered in the anterior central portion of the stomach. This viscus was drawn up into the operation wound, and the perforation, after examination, was closed with a double row of silk sutures. A little oozing of the stomach contents had occurred through the opening—all of which was wiped away. A further enlargement of the incision now became necessary in order to examine the dorsal of the stomach, upon which another opening was found. This was sutured in manner like unto the first.
     The time was now 6:12 p. m. The intestines were examined for possible wounds, but, happily, none were found, and these were wrapped in moist hot towels. A previous hypodermic injection had been made and now twenty-fine minimims of brandy were similarly administered. A further search for the missile failed to discover it. But it became apparent that it had done no other vital damage, with the strong probability that it lost itself in the thick lumbar muscles.
     The abdominal cavity was flushed with normal salt solution and the closure began. Seven deep silkworm gut sutures were employed and cat gut was placed superficially between them. At 6:30 the anaesthetic was discontinued and the abdominal bandage was applied.
     Thus, the operation on which so much of moment depended, was finished. The president’s pulse was now 122; respiration, 32.