Above image of Dr. Benjamin Rush courtesy of Independence National Historical Park.

Wm. Birch and Son 1799. Image courtesy of Independence National Historical Park.

Dr. Benjamin Rush treated many of the wealthier Philadelphians who could afford to pay for medical treatment. Dr. Rush firmly believed that the best way to cure yellow fever was to bleed the patient. This involved taking several ounces of blood from the person every day to lower the body temperature. Unfortunately, many patients died from this treatment instead of getting better.

In addition to Pennsylvania Hospital (shown above), Bush Hill mansion was used as a hospital for yellow fever patients in 1793. Patients at Bush Hill were treated using the "French method", which involved giving the patients bed rest, fresh air, lots of fluids, and keeping them clean and comfortable. Usually the poorest Philadelphians, who could not afford to pay for medical care, ended up at Bush Hill. The methods of French doctors turned out to be the best way to treat the disease, and many patients recovered.

Who else helped those who were sick and dying?

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