Online Lifestyle Magazine for Healthcare Workers by Pulse Uniform

Jackson’s Doctor Charged of “Manslaughter”

Dr. Conrad Murray, pop star Michael Jackson’s personal physician was charged of involuntary manslaughter in connection with the latter’s death. The physician turned himself in and pleaded not guilty of the complaint that Murray allegedly did unlawfully and without malice, kill Michael Joseph Jackson.

The involuntary manslaughter charge means that Murray caused Jackson’s death by acting without due caution and circumspection.

Jackson died from acute propofol intoxication, combined with substances benzodiazepine and Lorazepam. Propofol is a sedative-hypnotic agent used to induce and maintain anesthesia or sedation in operation and ICU, and for seizures in emergencies. It’s use need strict monitoring of breathing and circulation namely ECG, blood pressure and pulse oxymetry as minimum. As Propofol is expected to stop the breathing of patient, it is also necessary to have a resuscitation equipment around, including airway and ventilation equipment. And since breathing can stop, a skilled assistant must be around to help any trained anesthesiologist resuscitate and treat the patient. It is also necessary to have drugs to support blood pressure and heart rate.

As with the case of Jackson, Dr. Selma Calmes, the anesthesiology consultant, concluded that the standard of care for administering Propofol was not met.

  1. No evidence of an infusion pump for control of an IV infusion
  2. No monitors were found at the scene (a blood pressure cuff and portable pulse oximeter were recovered from a closet in the next room)
  3. There was an empty oxygen tank
  4. Level of propofol found on toxicology exam are similar to those found during general anesthesia for major surgery. (During such surgery, any patient would be intubated and ventilated by an anesthesiologist)
  5. Lorazepam found in Jackson “would have accentuated the respiratory and cardiovascular depression from propofol.
  6. Dr. Conrad Murray is a cardiologist.

If you are a doctor in your lab coat and pledged to save a patient, will you take a very clear risk of putting the person in a death-death situation?

About Mecheil Lewis