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Warren Commission Hearings: Vol. III - Page 359« Previous | Next »

(Testimony of Dr. Charles James Carrico)

Mr. Specter.
Dr. CARRICO. The President was being wheeled into trauma room one when I saw him.
Mr. Specter.
Who else, if anyone, was present at that time?
Dr. CARRICO. At that time, Dr. Don Curtis, Martin White.
The Chairman.
Was he a doctor, too?
Dr. CARRICO. Yes, sir; Miss Bowron.
Mr. Specter.
Who is Miss Bowron?
Dr. CARRICO. She is one of the nurses on duty at the emergency room.
Mr. Specter.
Who was the first doctor to actually see the President?
Dr. CARRICO. I was.
Mr. Specter.
Now, what did you observe as to the condition of President Kennedy when you first saw him?
Dr. CARRICO. He was on an ambulance cart, emergency cart, rather. His color was blue white, ashen. He had slow agonal respiration, spasmodic respirations without any coordination. He was making no voluntary movements. His eyes were open, pupils were seen to be dilated and later were seen not to react to light. This was the initial impression.
Mr. Specter.
What was the status of his pulse at the time of arrival?
Dr. CARRICO. He had no palpable pulse.
Mr. Specter.
And was he making any movements at the time of arrival?
Dr. CARRICO. No voluntary movements, only the spasmodic respirations.
Mr. Specter.
Was any heartbeat noted at his arrival?
Dr. CARRICO. After these initial observations we opened his shirt, coat, listened very briefly to his chest, heard a few sounds which we felt to be heartbeats and then proceeded with the remainder of the examination.
Mr. Specter.
In your opinion was President Kennedy alive or dead on his arrival at Parkland.
Dr. CARRICO. From a medical standpoint I suppose he was still alive in that he did still have a heartbeat?
Mr. Specter.
What action, if any, was taken with respect to the removal of President Kennedy's clothing?
Dr. CARRICO. As I said after I had opened his shirt and coat, I proceeded with the examination and the nurses removed his clothing as is the usual procedure.
Mr. Specter.
Was President Kennedy wearing a back brace?
Dr. CARRICO. Yes; he was.
Mr. Specter.
Would you describe as precisely as you can that back brace?
Dr. CARRICO. As I recall, this was a white cotton or some sort of fiber standard brace with stays and corset, in a corset-type arrangement and buckles.
Mr. Specter.
How far up on his body did it come?
Dr. CARRICO. Just below his umbilicus, as I recall.
Mr. Specter.
How far down on his body did it go?
Dr. CARRICO. I did not examine below his belt at that time.
Mr. Specter.
Did you at any time examine below his belt?
Dr. CARRICO. I did not; no, sir.
Mr. Specter.
Do you know if anyone else did?
Dr. CARRICO. Not in a formal manner.
Mr. Specter.
What action did you take by way of treating President Kennedy on his arrival?
Dr. CARRICO. After what we have described we completed an initial emergency examination, which consisted of, as we have already said, his color, his pulse, we felt his back, determined there were no large wounds which would be an immediate threat to life there. Looked very briefly at the head wound and then because of his inadequate respirations inserted an endotracheal tube to attempt to support these respirations.
Mr. Specter.
Specifically what did you do with respect to the back, Dr. Carrico?
Dr. CARRICO. This is a routine examination of critically ill patients where you haven't got time to examine him fully. I just placed my hands just above the belt, but in this case just above the brace, and ran my hands up his back.
Mr. Specter.
To what point on his body?
Dr. CARRICO. All the way up to his neck very briefly.
Mr. Specter.
What did you feel by that?
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