JFK 50: Remembering the Kennedy Assassination

JFK 50: Remembering the Kennedy Assassination

JFK 50: Remembering the Kennedy Assassination

Motorcade Arrives at Parkland, Kennedy Treated

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    NEWSLETTERS

    TK

    At about 12:35 p.m, President Kennedy's limousine arrives at Parkland Memorial Hospital and is quickly joined by the follow-up car, the Vice President's car and the Vice President's follow-up car.  Kennedy's doctor, Admiral Burkley, was in the motorcade ahead of the president and was headed toward the Trade Mart as the shooting took place. According to the Warren Report, Burkely arrived at Parkland about 5 minutes after JFK.

    Texas Gov. John Connally, regained consciousness as the president's limousine stopped abruptly at the entrance to the emergency room.  As he tried to get out of the way to allow medical personnel access to the president he collapsed as he quickly met with his first realization of pain associated with his own gunshot wounds.  He was placed on a stretcher and taken into trauma room 2.

    At the same time, Special Agent Clinton J. Hill covered President Kennedy's head and chest with his suit jacket to prevent any photographs from being taken of the president's injuries. Secret Service agents Roy Kellerman, William Greer and Winston Lawson lifted the president into a stretcher and pushed him into trauma room 1.

    Dr. Charles Carrico was in the ER as Kennedy was taken into the trauma room.  He noticed the president "was blue-white or ashen in color; had slow, spasmodic, agonal respiration without any coordination; made no voluntary movements; had his eyes open with the pupils dilated without any reaction to light; evidenced no palpable pulse; and had a few chest sounds which were thought to be heart beats." Based on those observations, Carrico determined that Kennedy was alive and began treatment.

    Carrico noted two wounds, one to the front lower neck and another to the president's head. He also determined the president had inadequate respiration and inserted a endotracheal tube to assist with breathing. Dr. Malcolm O. Perry joined the team in the trauma room and concluded a viable airway was still needed and performed a tracheotomy while Carrico and Dr. Ronald Jones infused blood and other fluids into the president's circulatory system.

    For the next several minutes, doctors would continue to enter the trauma room and assist in the effort to stabilize the president.  Despite their meritorious efforts, the Warren Report states that "in the absence of any neurological, muscular, or heart response, the doctors concluded that efforts to revive the President were hopeless" and at approximately 1 p.m., after last rites had been administered, President John F. Kennedy was declared dead by Dr. William Kemp Clark.

    Source: Archives.gov