What happened to Sir William Osler?

He died on December 29, 1919, probably from a secondary bacterial infection of the lungs following a viral infection.

The opium helped calm his wracking cough, but had no effect on the bacterial infection - it treated the symptom, not the disease itself. Today, a doctor would probably prescribe antibiotics, unknown in Osler's day, to fight the bacterial infection. But the patient might also be given codeine, derived from the Opium Poppy, to quiet coughing and allow rest.


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