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Warren Commission Hearings: Vol. IV - Page 103« Previous | Next »

(Testimony of Dr. Robert Roeder Shaw)

Mr. Specter.
I went on to the medical school expecting to eat lunch. I had the radio on because it was the day that I knew the President was in Dallas and would be eating lunch at the Trade Mart which was not far away, and over the radio I heard the report that the President had been shot at while riding in the motorcade. I went on to the medical school and as I entered the medical school a student came in and joined three other students, and said the President has just been brought into the emergency room at Parkland, dead on arrival.
The students said, "You are kidding, aren't you?" and he said, "No, I am not. I saw him, and Governor Connally has-been shot through the chest."
Hearing that I turned and walked over to the emergency room, which is approximately 150 yards from. the medical school, and entered the emergency room.
Mr. Specter.
At approximately what time did you arrive at the emergency room where Governor Connally was situated?
Dr. SHAW. As near as I could tell it was about 12:45.
Mr. Specter.
Who was with Governor Connally, if anyone, at that time, Dr. Shaw?
Dr. SHAW. I immediately recognized two of the men who worked with me in thoracic surgery, Dr. James Duke and Dr. James Boland, Dr. Giesecke, who is an anesthesiologist, was also there along with a Dr. David Mebane who is an instructor in general surgery.
Mr. Specter.
What was Governor Connally's condition at that time, based on your observations?
Dr. SHAW. The Governor was complaining bitterly of difficulty in breathing, and of pain in his right chest. Prior to my arriving there, the men had very properly placed a tight occlusive dressing over what on later examination proved to be a large sucking wound in the front of his right chest, and they had inserted a rubber tube between the second and third ribs in the front of the right chest, carrying this tube to what we call a water seal bottle.
Mr. Specter.
What was the purpose?
Dr. SHAW. Yes; this is done to reexpand the right lung which had collapsed due to the opening through the chest wall.
Mr. Specter.
What wounds, if any, did you observe on the Governor at that time?
Dr. SHAW. I observed no wounds on the Governor at this time. It wasn't until he was taken to the operating room that I properly examined him from the standpoint of the wound.
Mr. Specter.
How long after your initial viewing of him was he taken to the operating room?
Dr. SHAW. Within about 5 minutes. I stepped outside to talk to Mrs. Con-natty because I had been given information by Dr. Duke that blood had been drawn from the Governor, sent to the laboratory for cross-matching for blood that we knew would be necessary, that the operating room had already been alerted, and that they were ready and they were merely awaiting my arrival.
Mr. Specter.
How was Governor Connally transported from the emergency room to the operating room?
Dr. SHAW. On a stretcher.
Mr. Specter.
And was he transported up an elevator as well?
Dr. SHAW. Yes. It is two floors above the emergency rooms.
Mr. Specter.
Will you describe what happened next in connection with Governor Connally's----
Mr. Dulles.
Could I ask a question, putting in this tube is prior to making an incision?
Dr. SHAW. Yes; a stab wound.
Mr. Dulles.
Just a stab wound?
Dr. SHAW. Yes.
Mr. Specter.
What treatment next followed for Governor Connally, Doctor?
Dr. SHAW. He was taken to the operating room and there Dr. Giesecke started the anesthesia. This entails giving an intravenous injection of sodium pentothal and then after the Governor was asleep a gas was used, that will be on the anesthetic record there.
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