Publication information
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Source: San Francisco Call
Source type: newspaper
Document type: article
Document title: “No Trace of Poison Is Found”
Author(s): anonymous
City of publication: San Francisco, California
Date of publication: 12 September 1901
Volume number: 90
Issue number: 104
Pagination: 2

“No Trace of Poison Is Found.” San Francisco Call 12 Sept. 1901 v90n104: p. 2.
full text
William McKinley (medical condition); William McKinley (recovery); William McKinley (medical care); McKinley cabinet; Herman Mynter (public statements); Eugene Wasdin (public statements); McKinley physicians.
Named persons
Ethan A. Hitchcock; Matthew D. Mann; Charles McBurney; Herman Mynter; Roswell Park; Elihu Root; Charles Emory Smith; Eugene Wasdin; James Wilson.
The phrase “blood poisoning” is given below as it appears in the original source, both with and without a hyphen.


No Trace of Poison Is Found


Satisfactory Examination of President’s Blood Is Made by Physicians
Members of the Cabinet Are Elated by Latest News from the Bedside

     BUFFALO, Sept. 11.—The night consultation of the physicians furnished in some respects the most reassuring news which has yet come from the sickroom. A microscopic count of the blood had been made during the day by Dr. Wasdin. At the evening conference the result was submitted and found to be perfectly satisfactory. There had been no abnormal increase of white corpuscles such as would have existed had blood-poisoning set in, and the doctors had the satisfaction of announcing officially that the count of the blood corroborated the clinical evidence of the absence of any blood-poisoning.
     The President was bathed and given nourishment while all the doctors were present and afterward was placed in his new bed.
     The members of the Cabinet were all below stairs while the consultation was in progress and remained until after the bulletin was prepared and issued. They were so elated over the improvement in the President’s condition and the absence of any unfavorable symptoms that Secretary Root announced that he felt free to depart and that he had decided to go to New York to-morrow.

“Good News,” Cries Doctor.

     At the conclusion of the night conference the doctors gave another extremely gratifying report of their patient’s progress.
     The physicians did not begin to leave the Milburn residence until shortly before 11 o’clock. The reports which they had to communicate could hardly have been more gratifying than they were. Dr. Wasdin and Dr. Mynter came out together. The latter was hemmed in on all sides by the eager newspaper men.
     “Good news! Good news!” he cried. “Nothing but good news. We have washed and fed the President and moved him to another bed.”
     “Is he still improving?”
     “He is, and to prove it I desire to say that a count of his blood shows that it is in a normal condition, and we feel that we can announce definitely that there is not the least indication of blood-poisoning.”
     He referred the reporters to Dr. Wasdin of the Marine Hospital Service, who was standing at his side, for a scientific interpretation. The latter explained that a count of the blood was a microscopic examination of the relative number of white and red corpuscles in the blood to determine whether inflammation of any sort existed. An increase of white corpuscles, relatively speaking, would show inflammation and deterioration of the blood that might indicate peritonitis.

Count of the Blood.

     He said that this morning a few drops of blood were taken from the lobe of the ear and microscopically counted under his direction.
     “We found,” he said, “that the number of white corpuscles was just about normal, while the red cells were slightly below normal, due to insufficient nutrition since the operation.”
     “The count was not made,” continued Dr. Wasdin, “to verify the fact that blood poisoning did not exist, of which we felt certain, but to remove every shadow of doubt. The result is that we feel safe in announcing that not a trace of blood poisoning exists. The test could not have been more satisfactory.”
     “Is the President out of danger?”
     “No, I would not say that; he is a very sick man, but his condition under the circumstances could not be better. That much I will say emphatically.”
     “Was any trace of pus found in the exterior wound?”
     “Not a particle. Pus means the existence of an abscess, and there is not the suggestion of pus about the President’s body.”
     The bulletin which followed Dr. Wasdin’s statement officially confirmed what he had said.

Confirmed by McBurney.

     Dr. McBurney remained in the house awhile longer than the other physicians, leaving shortly after 11 o’clock. He confirmed the statement made in the bulletin to the effect that the examination of the President’s blood showed no evidence of blood poisoning, nor did it, he added, show any sign of peritonitis. While the examination of the blood was not made to determine the latter fact, yet it would unmistakably have shown it had there been peritonitis.
     The examination was simply a way of testing the conditions of the President’s blood.
     The doctor will remain overnight and attend the consultation of the physicians to-morrow. The time of his departure has not been determined.
     Dr. Mann, who has attended every consultation of the physicians, was not present to-night, feeling that his attendance was unnecessary.
     Dr. Park also expressed his satisfaction at the condition shown by the President and at the manner in which his system was responding to treatment. All the members of the Cabinet now in the city, including Secretaries Root, Wilson, Hitchcock and Postmaster General Smith, were again at the Milburn mansion to-night, and remained until after the consultation of the physicians was concluded. They are highly elated over the favorable developments in the President’s case, and Secretary Root is so sanguine of the future that he has determined to leave the city to-morrow. He will take the 1 o’clock train for New York.



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