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Warren Commission Hearings: Vol. VI - Page 69« Previous | Next »

(Testimony of Dr. Conrad Peters Paul)

Dr. PETERS. I was in the adjacent portion of the hospital preparing material for a lecture to the medical students and residents later in the day, when I heard over the radio that the President had been shot and there was a great deal of confusion at the time and the extent of his injuries was not immediately broadcast over the radio, and I thought, because of the description of the location of the tragedy he would probably, be brought to Parkland for care, and so I went to the emergency room to see if I could render assistance.

Mr. Specter.
And at about what time did you arrive at the emergency room?
Dr. PETERS. Well, could I ask a question or two?
Mr. Specter.
Dr. PETERS. As I recall, he was shot about 12:35 our time; is that correct?
Mr. Specter.
I believe that's been fixed most precisely at 12:30, Dr. Peters.
Dr. PETERS. So, I would estimate it was probably about 12:50 when I got there, I really don't know for certain.
Mr. Specter.
Whom did you find present, if anyone, when you arrived?

Dr. PETERS. When I arrived the following people I noted were present in the room : Dr. Perry, Baxter, Ron Jones, and McClelland. The first thing I noticed, of course, was that President Kennedy was on the stretcher and that his feet were slightly elevated. He appeared to be placed in a position in which we usually treat a patient who is in shock, and I noticed that Dr. Perry and Dr. Baxter were present and that they were working on his throat. I also noticed that Dr. Ron Jones was present in the room. I took off my coat and asked what I could do to help, and then saw it was President Kennedy. I really didn't know it was President Kennedy until that time. Dr. Perry was there and he and Dr. Baxter were doing the tracheotomy and we asked for a set of tracheotomy tubes to try and, get one of the appropriate size. I then helped Dr. Baxter assemble the tracheotomy tube which he inserted into the tracheotomy wound that he and Dr. Perry had created.
Mr. SPECTER. Were there any others present at that time, before you go on as to what aid you rendered?
Dr. PETERS. I believe Dr. Carrico--
Mr. Specter.
Any other doctors present?
Dr. PETERS. And Dr. Jenkins was present.
Mr. SPECTER. Have you now covered all of those who were present at that time?
Dr. PETERS. And Dr. Shaw walked into the room and left--for a moment--but he didn't stay. He just sort of glanced at the President and went across the hall. Mrs. Kennedy was in the corner with someone who identified himself as the personal physician of the President--I don't remember his name.
Mr. Specter.
Dr. Burkley ?
Dr. PETERS. I don't know his name. That's just who he said he was, because he was asking that the President be given some steroids, which was done.
Mr. Specter.
He requested that.

Dr. PETERS. That's right, he said he should have some steroids because he was an Addisonian.
Mr. Specter.
What do you mean by that in lay language?

Dr. PETERS. Well, Addison's disease is a disease of the adrenal cortex which is characterized by a deficiency in the elaboration of certain hormones that allow an individual to respond to stress and these hormones are necessary for life, and if they cannot be replaced, the individual may succumb.
Mr. SPECTER. And Dr. Burkley, or whoever was the President's personal physician, made a request that you treat him as an Addisonian?
Dr. PETERS. That's right--he recommended that he be given steroids because he was an Addisonian--that's what he said.
Mr. Specter.
Were there any nurses present at that time?
Dr. PETERS. I don't remember a nurse being in the room all the time, but they were coming in and out.
Mr. SPECTER. Have you identified all the people who were present to the best of your recollection ?
Dr. PETERS. Did I mention Dr. Robert McClelland, he was also there.
Mr. Specter.
Was Dr. Dulany there?

Dr. PETERS. I don't remember him, he may have been
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