Author Topic: So WHY would it not have been hemophilia?  (Read 111491 times)

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J_Kendrick

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Re: So WHY would it not have been hemophilia?
« Reply #240 on: June 20, 2005, 11:01:53 PM »
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Dear Mr. Kendrick,
The New York Times, Nov. 10, 1912. Pg C1. "The medical publication Hospital in commenting on the recent pronouncement of the Czar's physicians that the Czarevitch has haemophilia says that this malady was frequently observed by scientists among Eurpoean royal families in the early and middle ages.  (emphasis added)


We've already dealt with this article in another thread a couple of weeks ago... but .. If you insist...

First off.. Look at the date of the article.  November 9, 1912... just six days after that single official palace statement we've all seen that came only ten days after the end of the Spala episode.  The statement from Baron Fredericks carrying the name of the four doctors was dated October 21 old style... November 3 new style... and the article you post is dated less than a week later.

Given the date, obviously this is the New York Times way of reporting the events at Spala, but it's amazingly short on detail about the episode that everyone on this board now knows inside out. The Heir to the Imperial Russian throne almost dies from a massive internal hemorrhage just two weeks earlier... and the best the NYTimes can say about it is only that he's a bleeder?  No details of the episode? Nothing about the political implications?  Just a tale about other members of the family who may have had a similar problem?

Any Editor who sees a reporter filing a story that's as short on the details as this one is should be telling his reporter to go back to the source, do more digging, and then file the story again when he gets it right.

The bold type line that says "Special cable to the New York Times" tells you exactly how the story was transmitted.. and explains why it took six days from the publication of the palace statement before the story reached New York.  In 1912, news reports were sent by telegram.. hopscotching from one telegraph station to the next.. and quite often altered as the operators of one morse code key after another slightly revised the message as it was sent from one telegraph station to the next.

Spala tells St. Petersburg the boy had an internal  hemorrhage... St. Petersburg tells London that he nearly bled to death... London editors cut back on the detail of the episode but add what they know about Prince Leopold... and by the time the story reaches New York six days later Alexei has been "diagnosed" with hemophilia...

... even though we all know that the palace statement released six days earlier does *not* actually use the word "haemophilia".. but it does use the words "significant anemia"... which, to a modern day haematologist, is *not* the same thing.

All that aside... Take a good look at the wording of that NYTimes article again....

Do you not see something very wrong with the details of that report?  

Mary and the Hohenzollerns? Come on... It should be obvious to everyone here that the authors of this New York Times report of November 9, 1912 were mixing the stories of both Hemophilia and Porphyria into a single disease....

... which should prove to everyone here just how little the authors of that article actually knew about the medical facts that they were attempting to report.

What is more, the peculiar comment about "one skin instead of three" clearly demonstrates that they knew just as little about the science of dermatology as they did about haematology.

JK

Offline Georgiy

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Re: So WHY would it not have been hemophilia?
« Reply #241 on: June 20, 2005, 11:08:58 PM »
If you read it carefully again, you will see that they are saying that the "one skin instead of three" is a popular fallacy and that haemophilliacs have as much skin as anyone else.

pinklady

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Re: So WHY would it not have been hemophilia?
« Reply #242 on: June 21, 2005, 03:07:39 AM »
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What is more, the peculiar comment about "one skin instead of three" clearly demonstrates that they knew just as little about the science of dermatology as they did about haematology.
JK

Take a good look at the article again, Mr Kendrick, under that little headline grabbing announcement it clearly says that hemophiliacs have as many skins as everybody else. Respectfully I must say you are good at ignoring what is plainly written and only reading as far as it suits.....

Have you ever thought that the newspapers could not release much information (or indeed have access to it)as it involved the health of  a member of a Royal Family, even now, in our information down your throat age, we dont have access to Royalty's health problems, it is private information known only to the family.
And we know Nicholas and Alexandra fiercely guarded the secret of Alexei's condition as he was their only Heir to the throne and they wanted everybody to beleive he was a healthy normal boy who would grow up to become a strong Tsar.
That article would not have been possible had not somebody leaked information, and we know that to be true here.
I dont know why it is difficult for some people to believe this beautiful "perfect" child had hemophilia, a tragic hereditary condition in his family, a chemical imbalance in the blood which prohibits normal clotting. That is what he had. If his sisters had married, there would have been more affected children.
I think it shocking that people throughout last century pretended to impersonate this innocent child. ( and worse others encouraged them).
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 06:00:00 PM by pinklady »

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Re: So WHY would it not have been hemophilia?
« Reply #243 on: June 21, 2005, 10:16:46 AM »
JK: "why it took six days from the publication of the palace statement before the story reached New York.  In 1912, news reports were sent by telegram.. hopscotching from one telegraph station to the next.. and quite often altered as the operators of one morse code key after another slightly revised the message as it was sent from one telegraph station to the next. "

Please read some decent history. The trans-atlantic cable was laid in 1866 by the Great Eastern. Within 20 years there were 107,000 miles of undersea cables linking all parts of the world.  In 1894, the Commercial Cable Company laid its third submarine telegraph cable between Ireland and Hazel Hill, Guysborough County, Nova Scotia. This additional cable was needed because the heavy telegraph traffic had grown beyond the capacity of the two earlier cables. The 1894 cable was an improved design, and was able to handle telegraph messages at a considerably faster rate than the earlier cables.  In 1905, the Commercial Cable Company laid its fifth submarine cable between Hazel Hill, Nova Scotia, and Waterville, Ireland. This was one of the heaviest submarine telegraph cables up to this time. Its speed was remarkable for its day, and it quickly took a heavy load of telegraph message traffic.  According to Prof. Randy Katz at UC Berkley, "typical" speed for transmission in 1901 was 4-5 minutes for a cable sent in London to reach NY.  By 1912, it was even faster. A cable sent in London would only go through four Telegraphers. London to Ireland to New Foundland to New York. Typical accuracy in a message was 99% plus for Western Union and the other companies.  A "special cable" would be VERY accurate, no doubt. Further, the Marconi Wireless company could send a cable virtually instantly from England to New York in 1912. Remember the Titanic??

JK: No details of the episode? Nothing about the political implications?  Just a tale about other members of the family who may have had a similar problem?

NY Times Oct 23, 1912 pg 4: "St. Petersburg Oct. 22- The Czarowitch Alexis is lying rather seriously ill at the imperial hunting lodge of Spala, Russian Poland as the result of an accident on Oct. 15". and goes on to repeat the official court bulletin.

NY Times Oct 25, 1912 pg. 1: "St. Petersburg , Oct 25 1 am. by Marconi Transatlantic Wireless Company to the New York Times. Dispatch to the London Daily Mail.   The condition of the Czar's son remains serious. Prayers for his recovery continue throughout Russia.  His Imperial Highness is now suffering from peritonitis.  It is impossible to ascertain the real cause of his illness." Then goes on to discuss the possiblity theat Admrial Chagin  committed suicide out of some connection with the illness resulting from an accident on board Standart, or the truth of the love affair, "It is said that the Prince injured himself while imitating sailors diving, although it is positively affirmed that he slipped and fell in his bath."  The details of Chagin's suicide are then discussed in detail. (485 words total)

NY Times Oct. 26, 1912, pg. C5. " The latest reports recieved in Court circles from Spala give assurances of the recovery of Crown Prince Alexis.  Apart from the meagre details of the doctors' bulletins, not a single fact has been allowed to appear in the Russian newspapers regarding the illness of the heir to the throne and the whole nation is deeply incensed by the rigid censorship.  The secrecy with respect to the injuries from which the Crown Prince is suffering has bred a crop of sensational rumors." A long discussion follows of the rumors, slipping off a cupboard, boat, etc. then a discussion of the importance of succession, why Alexei can't die, and the possible war over succession rights if he did. approx 600 words total.

For the period between October 15 and November 23 1912 there are ten separate articles disucssing the Tsarevich's health and the succession implications in the New York Times.


« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 06:00:00 PM by admin »

Tasha_R

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Re: So WHY would it not have been hemophilia?
« Reply #244 on: June 21, 2005, 10:28:56 AM »
A number of folks have asked "why even question it?".  From my perspective, in questioning it, I have learned even more of the history surrounding the Tsarevitch's condition than I knew was possible.  Many of you have brought forward pieces of information which I have never seen/heard before, and it is informative and enlightening.

I have a habit of constantly questioning anyway, as things do change, and I like to constantly test my assumptions against any new evidence brought forward.

Sincere regards,
Tasha

etonexile

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Re: So WHY would it not have been hemophilia?
« Reply #245 on: June 21, 2005, 06:48:23 PM »
Great fact-finding by the FA lately....kudos....

Robert_Hall

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Re: So WHY would it not have been hemophilia?
« Reply #246 on: June 21, 2005, 07:21:43 PM »
I agree, but then, we have come to expect it, have we not ?
I would say the standard for Romanov information has been set here. at least to us amateurs and casual interest folks.

lexi4

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Re: So WHY would it not have been hemophilia?
« Reply #247 on: June 21, 2005, 09:02:56 PM »
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This newspaper article is just repeating what was known in the medical world at that time.  It does not tell us what were in the medical records kept by doctors at the time so  present day doctors can view and study the symtoms of Alexei and give us their conclusions.

Since I do not care what direction the answers take us,  I think Kendrick has asked some very interesting questions.  And, those of us who know very little about hemophilia are interested in the answers to those questions.

It is not necessary for posters to try to convince us the Kenricks has an agenda.  It is not necessary for posters to try and convince us that his claimant is or is not Alexei.  

I think the questions he and others have asked can stand alone for those of us who don't understand this diease.  

So, can we cut through the rhectoric and get to the answers and any other questions on this subject.

Thank you.

AGRBear


Here here. Thank you Bear.
I have read all the posts here and I do have some questions.
1. I think it is interesting that  neither Nicholas nor Alexandra used the H word in their correspondence or dairies. Either it was a well protected secret, or the "H" word was not used by his doctors.
2. Do people who have hemophilia always bleed instantly and profusely?


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Re: So WHY would it not have been hemophilia?
« Reply #248 on: June 21, 2005, 09:17:17 PM »
Lexi4,
The "H" word WAS used by his doctors. Please see the NY Time article of Nov. 10, 1912 which I posted in full. That can not be more clear.
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 06:00:00 PM by admin »

Lizameridox

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Re: So WHY would it not have been hemophilia?
« Reply #249 on: June 21, 2005, 09:37:49 PM »
Quote

1. I think it is interesting that  neither Nicholas nor Alexandra used the H word in their correspondence or dairies. Either it was a well protected secret, or the "H" word was not used by his doctors.


Since Alexei Nikolaevich's hemophilia was always meant by the Russian Imperial Court to be a state secret, it does not surprise me that as the boy and his family accepted that it was their family's cross to bear 'hemophilia' was almost a household non-word.  I have had cerebral palsy for over 40 years and while this has been a fact of life for me, my parents and sisters and every one who knows me, the term 'cerebral palsy' never comes up in conversations.  'Braces' might once in a while, 'joint pain' might more often.  So in diary entries or letters written by Alexei and his family, look for phrases like 'Baby can't bend his arm today', 'had to put a compress on my ankle', 'stayed in bed all day'
or 'my leg feels better. I am still in bed.'  That's day to day suffering on the part of Alexei.  Being a bleeder did not always mean a threat to the Tsarevich's life, but it certainly meant bruising, discomfort and being confined to bed for days at a time on a frequent, unpredictable basis.  Remember, these were the days before Factor VIII or Factor IX treatments....

Another more sinister parallel might be in the case of some people who suffer from certain mental illnesses.  This is a family secret some people are careful never to reveal.

Since Alexei Nikolaevich stood to inherit the throne, the revelation that he was ill would have had bad consequences, through no fault of the boy's own.  That is why when the news of hemophilia was leaked in Russia (there were rumors in the papers prior to the article posted by our intrepid Forum Administrator!), Count Fredericks wrote a very evasive court bulletin meant to diffuse the notion and deflect people from having the truth stick in their minds, crystallized in that single word 'hemophilia'.  This bulletin of Count Fredericks should not be confused with the only known fragment of the Tsarevich's medical record, which rather than stressing 'significant anemia' did mention a massive hematoma -- bleeding into the hip joint and muscle -- inflammation of the joint, flexing of the knee and other symptoms typical of hemophilia.  No mention of the spleen was made in this particular medical record, written in Russian and not translated to this day.  It should be....

Quote
2. Do people who have hemophilia always bleed instantly and profusely?


It depends on the site of the injury.  When Alexei bled into a joint, there was more room for the blood to expand into, and more shooting pains as pressure set in on his nerves.  The hip joint is very large compared to the elbow, ankle and wrist, so Spala was serious business.  If he bled into a muscle, it may not have been as evident.


[/quote]

lexi4

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Re: So WHY would it not have been hemophilia?
« Reply #250 on: June 21, 2005, 09:43:53 PM »
Thank you Liza,
That was very informatative. Do you think Alexandra realized she was a carrier? I dont she how she could not have. It must have worried her during her pregnancies, yet there seems to be no written record of her expessing those concerns.

FA, I will look for the article. I can't read the post because the print is to small, at least for me to read.
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 06:00:00 PM by lexi4 »

Offline Georgiy

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Re: So WHY would it not have been hemophilia?
« Reply #251 on: June 21, 2005, 09:46:31 PM »
It's a bit like Russian Roulette, and a carrier doesn't know if a child will have the disease or not. Probably like most people she had the idea of "Oh, it wouldn't happen to me." We should never be complacent about things!
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 06:00:00 PM by Georgiy »

lexi4

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Re: So WHY would it not have been hemophilia?
« Reply #252 on: June 21, 2005, 09:48:59 PM »
Thank you Georgiy.

J_Kendrick

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Re: So WHY would it not have been hemophilia?
« Reply #253 on: June 22, 2005, 02:21:34 AM »
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Lexi4,
The "H" word WAS used by his doctors. Please see the NY Time article of Nov. 10, 1912 which I posted in full. That can not be more clear.


Yes.. The "H" word was used by the New York Times and the newspaper did attribute it, incorrectly, to the doctors.   In actual fact, however, the "H" word most definitely was *NOT* used by Alexei's doctors in that very same palace announcement that the New York Times was reporting.

This would not be the first time in the Romanov story that the New York Times had managed to get things wrong.  Six years later, in December of 1918, that very same New York Times had reported that Nicholas had been taken to a secret trial just three hours before he was shot alone.. and that Alexandra and Alexei were then driven to a secret location.  The same journalist who had reported that obviously spurious claim that Nicholas had been given brief secret trail immediately before his death would later be named as the new Dean of Journalism at Columbia University and Secretary of the Pultizer Prize Committee in 1931.

NY Times Oct 23, 1912:
"The Czarowitch Alexis is lying rather seriously ill at the imperial hunting lodge of Spala, Russian Poland as the result of an accident on Oct. 15".

October 15 new style is October 2 old style... the date of Alexei's carriage ride.  Occurring October 15 N/S and reported in New York on October 23 N/S... a delay of eight days.

NY Times Oct 25, 1912:
"His Imperial Highness is now suffering from peritonitis.  It is impossible to ascertain the real cause of his illness."

October 25 new style is October 12 old style, and here the NY Times is reporting peritonitis when we now know that Alexei was already two days into his recovery after the fever had broken on October 10 O/S.. October 23rd N/S ... showing us again how much of a delay there was between the date of the actual events and the transmission of the story to New York

NY Times Oct. 26, 1912:
"The secrecy with respect to the injuries from which the Crown Prince is suffering has bred a crop of sensational rumors."

.. and it still is a sensational rumour to this very day.

NY Times Nov 9, 1912:
"The medical publication Hospital commenting on the recent pronouncement of the Czar's physicians that the Czarevich has hemophilia says the malady was frequently observed by scientists among European Royal families in the early and middle ages"

We've all seen the "recent pronouncement of the Czar's physicians" that the New York Times was referring to in its report of Nov 9, 1912.  It's the very same pronouncement that was issued by the Minister of the Imperial Court Baron Fredericks just six days before that New York Times report... on October 21 of 1912 O/S.. November 3 N/S... that carries the names of the four doctors Raukhfus, Federov, Botkin, and Ostrogorsky...

...and we all know that the "pronouncement of the Czar's physicians" most definitely does *NOT* use the word "haemophilia".  However, it does use the words "significant anemia" which is not the same thing.  (For our readers who have a hardback copy of "A Lifelong Passion" handy, the "pronouncement" that the New York Times was reporting can be found in the chapter on the year 1912 on pages 359 and 360.)

I could go to great length to explain to how the fledgling News Wire Services operated in the early days of the past century, many long decades before the advent of satellites and the internet... tell you in detail how news stories are edited in bunches as they move from one major news bureau to the next and are sent to the customer newspapers at regularly scheduled intervals every day.  I could also explain how newspaper stories are written and edited to attract the readers' attention while at the same time maintaining brevity for reasons of limited space on the page...

... but you'll doubtless go to great efforts to try shooting that down too... so I won't bother.

... and you still haven't said anything about the fact that the text of that New York Times article makes it clear that its authors were obviously mixing the separate stories of both haemophilia and porphyria in the Royal family line and describing them as if they were a single disease.

JK

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Re: So WHY would it not have been hemophilia?
« Reply #254 on: June 22, 2005, 08:41:59 AM »
I just read what is there. You are of course quite free to fantasize and imagine it to mean whatever makes you happy.