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Warren Commission Hearings: Vol. VI - Page 48« Previous | Next »

(Testimony of Dr. Marion Thomas Jenkins)

Mr. Specter.
Dr. JENKINS. Yes; I did, because I was just connecting up the endotracheal tube to the machine at the time and that's when Dr. Carrico said there was a wound in the neck and I looked at it.
Mr. Specter.
Would you describe that wound as specifically as you can?

Dr. JENKINS. Well, I'm afraid my description of it would not be as accurate, of course, as that of the surgeons who were doing the tracheotomy, because my look was a quick look before connecting up the endotracheal tube to the apparatus to help in ventilation and respiration for the patient, and I was aware later in the day, as I should have put it in the report, that I thought this was a wound of exit because it was not a clean wound, and by "clean" clearly demarcated, round, punctate wound which is the usual wound of an entrance wound, made by a missile and at some speed. Of course, entrance wounds with a lobbing type missile, can make a jagged wound also, but I was of the impression and I recognized I had the impression it was an exit wound. However, my mental appreciation for a wound--for the wound in the neck, I believe, was sort of--was overshadowed by recognition of the wound in the scalp and skull plate.
Mr. SPECTER. Have you now described the wound in the neck as specifically as you can at this moment?
Dr. JENKINS. I believe so.
Mr. SPECTER. Now, will you now describe the wound which you observed in the head?
Dr. JENKINS. Almost by the time I was--had the time to pay more attention to the wound in the head, all of these other activities were under way. I was busy connecting up an apparatus to respire for the patient, exerting manual pressure on the breathing bag or anesthesia apparatus, trying to feel for a pulse in the neck, and then reaching up and feeling for one in the temporal area, seeing about connecting the cardioscope or directing its being connected, and then turned attention to the wound in the head.
Now, Dr. Clark had begun closed chest cardiac massage at this time and I was aware of the magnitude of the wound, because with each compression of the chest, there was a great rush of blood from the skull wound. Part of the brain was herniated; I really think part of the cerebellum, as I recognized it, was herniated from the wound; there was part of the brain tissue, broken fragments of the brain tissue on the drapes of the cart on which the President lay.
Mr. Specter.
Did you observe any wounds immediately below the massive loss of skull which you have described?
Dr. JENKINS. On the right side?
Mr. Specter.
Yes, sir.
Dr. JENKINS. No---I don't know whether this is right or not, but I thought there was a wound on the left temporal area, right in the hairline and right above the zygomatic process.
Mr. Specter.
The autopsy report discloses no such development, Dr. Jenkins.
Dr. JENKINS. Well, I was feeling for---I was palpating here for a pulse to see whether the closed chest cardiac massage was effective or not and this probably was some blood that had come from the other point and so I thought there was a wound there also.

Mr. SPECTER. At approximately what time was President Kennedy pronounced dead?
Dr. JENKINS. Well, this was pronounced, we know the exact time as 1300, according to my watch, at least, at the time.
Mr. Specter.
And what, in your opinion, was the cause of death?
Dr. JENKINS. Cerebral injury--brain injury.
Mr. Specter.
Was President Kennedy ever turned over during the course of this treatment at Parkland?
Mr. Specter.
Why was he not turned over, Dr. Jenkins ?

Dr. JENKINS. Oh, I think this was beyond our prerogative completely. I think as we pronounced the President dead, those in attendance who were there just sort of melted away, well, I guess "melted" is the wrong word, but we felt like we were intruders and left. I'm sure that this was considerably beyond our prerogative, and the facts were we knew he had a fatal wound, and I think my
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