We would like to correct the record on statements made in the book "Dutch" about the medical care delivered to President Reagan for the treatment of his gunshot wound.

In the emergency room at the George Washington University Medical Center, intravenous lines were inserted into the president's veins, not arteries; and one tube, not two, was inserted into his chest. The information about the large amount of blood loss was not suppressed; it was revealed at a press conference on April 2, 1981, four days after the assassination attempt.

Edmund Morris claimed that Mr. Reagan's "obstinate heart still beat lowering the pressure still further." But a beating heart maintains blood pressure, it does not lower it.

Mr. Morris also claimed that the blood transfusions were a "major physiologic insult from which [Mr. Reagan] would never fully recover." Apparently Mr. Morris is concerned that the cold blood had a long-term effect on the president. Blood is not stored in freezers, as stated in Mr. Morris's notes, but usually kept in a refrigerator. By the time blood is administered through IV lines, the effect on core body temperature would probably be small.

At no time since undergoing his lifesaving left thoracotomy in 1981 and his remarkable recovery has President Reagan shown any abnormality in his blood profile. This would include the results from his annual physical examinations and four subsequent hospitalizations for surgical procedures. After each procedure, his recovery was extraordinarily rapid and never with an untoward complication. All of his physicians have agreed that President Reagan was among the most resilient of patients they have ever encountered.




Dr. Giordano was director of President Reagan's trauma team. Dr. Hutton is a former physician to President Reagan.