Emergency in Room 5A

As the world watched, calm doctors performed their ritual

It is the kind of emergency familiar to trauma teams across the nation, particularly at places like New York City's Bellevue Hospital Center and Chicago's Cook County Hospital. The difference this time was the victim: not some dope dealer or faithless lover, but the President of the U.S. But even with the world watching, the medical ritual was the same.

As soon as Ronald Reagan was carried into Room 5A of George Washington University Hospital's emergency unit, a hastily assembled team of more than a...

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