“Modern” Medicine

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May 5, 2015 by Lorene

When Garfield was shot upon entering the train station, doctors seemed to flock from everywhere to make a name for themselves as the guy who saved the President’s life. They literally treated him where he fell – in the middle of a train station – by poking their fingers into the wound to try to find the bullet. Joseph Lister had been lecturing around the country on antisepsis and how to prevent infection, but the medical community did not believe in germs they could not see.

Many Civil War veterans had bullets in them and survived without medical care. If Garfield had not had medical care, he probably would have survived the gunshot. But, with so many doctors poking around, he didn’t have a chance to not die from infection.


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