Did George Washington die of a sore throat?

Did our first President die from a sore throat?

In 1799, George Washington woke up with a sore throat.  It continued to worsen over several days.

Finally his doctors were called.  They “bled” him, which was common in those days.  It was believed that by removing blood, the patient could breathe easier.  They removed 5 units of his blood but he did not improve.

Then, they tried burning his throat to “cauterize it”, then tried to force him to drink a mixture of butter, vinegar, and molasses, but he couldn’t do it.  He later died.

It is now felt that George Washington had a condition called “epiglottitis”, a very severe infection of the structures in the throat.  It is now a treatable condition, and there is an immunization that prevents this infection as well.





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