29 Jul Michael Jackson and Propofol
Although the toxicology reports are still pending, authorities believe the drug propofol, a powerful anesthetic, is what killed pop singer Michael Jackson. A law enforcement official told the Associated Press that Michael Jackson’s personal doctor, Conrad Murray, administered the drug to help Jackson sleep sometime after midnight the day Jackson died.
The official said Jackson regularly received propofol to sleep, which is far outside the drug’s intended purpose. Propofol (also known as the brand name Diprivan) is a quick-acting intravenous sedative used in hospital settings for anesthesia for adults, children, and animals. Investigators are currently working under the theory that the propofol caused Jackson’s heart to stop.
Propofol can depress the respiratory system and lower heart rates and blood pressure, and is supposed to only be administered at hospitals. Instructions on the drug’s package warn that patients must be continuously monitored, and that equipment to maintain breathing, provide artificial ventilation, and administer oxygen must be immediately available.
The official said that Jackson had trouble sleeping and enlisted various doctors to administer propofol, relying on the drug like an alarm clock. He would decide what time he wanted to wake up, and a doctor would stop the intravenous drip at that time.
Murray became Jackson’s personal physician in May and was to accompany him to London for a series of concerts in July. He was staying with Jackson in a rented Los Angeles mansion and, according to Murray’s lawyer, found Jackson unconscious in his bed and attempted to revive him.
Murray, 51, has been identified in court papers as the subject of a manslaughter investigation, and last week authorities raided his office and a storage unit in Houston. Police have not yet labeled him as a suspect, however. Murray’s lawyer has said the doctor “didn’t prescribe or administer anything that should have killed Michael Jackson.”
However, police searching Jackson’s home after his death found propofol and other drugs, an IV line, and three tanks of oxygen in Jackson’s bedroom. Fifteen more oxygen tanks were found in a security guard’s shack.
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