Propopol – How Could It Have Killed Michael Jackson?” By Katherine Harmon

Propopol – How Could It Have Killed Michael Jackson?” By Katherine Harmon
December 14, 2013 at 10:42am
I was reading the article “What Is Propofol–and How Could It Have Killed Michael Jackson?” By Katherine Harmon as I search for info for some friends who are being offered this as an option to self inject at home to treat their RSD symptoms…. According to the 2009 autopsy report, “the cause of death is acute propofol intoxication,” which caused MJ to stop breathing. To support the weighty pronouncement of homicide, the medical examiner concluded that: “The propofol was administered in a nonhospital setting without any appropriate medical indication. The standard of care for administering propofol was not met.” There are doctors in the US prescribing patients propofol to self administer at home… to treat pain conditions such as RSD. The prosecutors are following this line of evidence, arguing that Murray should be held responsible for Jackson’s death because he lacked adequate justification, expertise and equipment for giving this powerful drug to his client (who was reportedly aiming to stay rested in preparation for a comeback tour). Although Murray was using a device to keep tabs on Jackson’s vitals, as is recommended while using a general anesthetic, the fingertip pulse and blood-oxygen monitor he used is “specifically labeled against continuous monitoring,” said an executive from Nonin Medical, Inc., which makes the $275 device, CNN reported. Given Jackson’s apparently substantial admixture of meds and oft-discussed medical conditions, why was propofol the most likely candidate for his death—and can it be used more safely? To find out, Scientific American spoke with Beverly Philip, a professor of anesthesia at Harvard Medical School. [An edited transcript of the interview follows.] How does it differ from more commonly used sedatives? It’s not a sleeping aid at all. What it is is a general anesthetic. This puts people into general anesthesia—a sleeping aid doesn’t do that. This is not meant to be used at home. This is meant to be used by anesthesiologists in a clinical setting. How does propofol work in the body? Are there negative side effects that propofol can have—even when it is used as directed and in a proper setting?Yes. Unlike other sedatives, this drug has an extraordinarily narrow safety margin. It changes the body’s state very rapidly so that the patient will go unconscious and stop breathing. It can affect the breathing even before unconsciousness. So even in trained hands, it is very difficult to titrate just where you want. We can do it, but that’s what we’re trained and educated to do—it’s not easy. If I’m inducing anesthesia, it will act inside of 60 seconds. Recreationally, a lot of people die from this. It’s very difficult to administer safely even in the most controlled settings. The FDA [U.S. Food and Drug Administration] is in the process of making this a restricted drug. Drugs in the Valium class and painkillers have a reversing agent that’s commercially available. There’s no reversing agent for propofol. People taking any anestetic (propofol, ketamine… etc) need to be werry about self administering these… they patient needs to be monitored constantly by a trained professional.

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