Inside the mysterious world of Propofol, the drug that killed Michael Jackson

http://www.nzherald.co.nz/lifestyle/news/article.cfm?c_id=6&objectid=11486432

He said, “It’s finished. We’ve done it. You’re awake now.” Five minutes had passed in oblivion. Where had I gone, and how did propofol get me there? What does it do in the brain?

“Nobody knows,” says Auckland anaesthesiologist Dr Michael Kluger. “There’s lots of theories why anaesthetics work, but we don’t know. Which is kind of weird, because it’s what we do as a profession, and yet nobody can tell for sure.” …

Propofol is really only accessible to anaesthesiologists and surgical staff. That’s just the problem.

“When an anaesthetist decides to commit suicide, they do it very well,” says Dr Rob Fry. They choose propofol. They have the access, and they know exactly how it works. Fry is a member of the Welfare of Anaesthetists Special Interest Group, and has conducted surveys of substance abuse among anaesthetists in New Zealand and Australia. The most recent findings were published this year. Propofol was identified as the most commonly abused substance – higher than opiates or alcohol. The most chilling statistic records, “Death was the eventual outcome in eight cases of substance abuse (18 per cent), with three identified as suicide and five as overdose. All eight deaths involved propofol.” …

Studies in the US show a high percentage of users have suffered childhood trauma. They’re often unable to sleep, and they want to block out the world. A doctor at an addiction treatment centre in Virginia told an anaesthesiology journal, “I don’t know of any other drug where the perceived incidence of trauma, particularly of sexual trauma [in abusers], is so high. It’s really quite remarkable.” They want to forget. They want the milk of amnesia…

http://www.consumerreports.org/cro/news/2014/11/colonoscopy-anesthesia-overkill-deep-sedation-for-the-procedure-may-be-overkill/index.htm

But the rising tide of propofol use could be about to ebb. Beginning Jan. 1, 2015, Medicare is changing how it pays anesthesia professionals for colonoscopy care…

http://www.liverpoolecho.co.uk/news/liverpool-news/three-patients-died-walton-centre-9591775

http://fox6now.com/2015/04/21/a-wrongful-death-family-that-lost-loved-one-to-introduce-bill-to-add-cameras-to-operating-rooms/

An investigation revealed Rubenzer had been given a deadly dose of propofol…

Together, Rep. Sinicki and the Ayer family are introducing legislation called the “Julie Ayer Rubenzer Bill.” It would allow patients to request a camera in the operating room. That camera would record the entire surgical setting as surgery is performed…

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/british-columbia/dr-bob-rishiraj-accused-over-propofol-use-in-case-of-brain-damaged-teen-1.2834105

A College of Dental Surgeons in British Columbia hearing is underway into allegations of unprofessional conduct involving a Kamloops dentist, after a teenage patient suffered irreversible brain damage. The college is investigating allegations Dr.Bob Rishiraj used propofol for deep sedation without proper training…

http://www.jsonline.com/news/milwaukee/doctors-death-adds-to-cluster-of-fatal-fentanyl-cases-b99464264z1-296679701.html

The latest fentanyl death is Nathan Orlofsky, a 28-year-old doctor and anesthesiology resident at the Medical College of Wisconsin, who was found dead Feb. 11 in the bathroom of the apartment he and wife shared in Milwaukee’s Third Ward.

Orlofsky’s death has been ruled an accident by the medical examiner. Investigators found hospital-grade items near Orlofsky’s body, including needles, tourniquets and two empty vials of hydromorphine.

However, the medical examiner’s test results released this week didn’t show morphine in Orlofsky. Rather, they show he died of a mix of fentanyl and another drug, midazolam, which is used to make patients sleepy before surgery…

Orlofsky’s death reveals how illicit use of the drug cuts across social and economic classes and also highlights the problem of drug abuse among anesthesiologists…

Two studies, one in 1993 and another 15 years later, found a high rate of drug use by anesthesiology residents compared with other specialties. Over 10 years, 80% of U.S. anesthesiology residency programs reported encountering impaired residents and 19% reported at least one pretreatment death.

“The drug of choice for anesthesiologists entering treatment was an opioid, with fentanyl and sufentanil topping the list,” the 2008 study said…

http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2015/06/i-just-took-midazolam-supreme-court-oklahoma-death-penalty

2 thoughts on “Inside the mysterious world of Propofol, the drug that killed Michael Jackson

If you don't comment, I'll just assume you agree with me

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s