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Michael Jackson, Propofol, and HIPAA

Posted Jul 01 2009 9:10pm

Not surprising, the rumors are swirling regarding Michael Jackson's death. A couple thoughts:

1. The medication that TMZ reported was found in his home, Propofol, is extremely dangerous indeed. I have never heard of it being used recreationally, but see it used every day when I perform plastic surgery. This powerful drug is given intravenously to induce a rapid unconscious state. It's fast acting but also cleared very quickly from the bloodstream. If it is given in a large quantity then the unconscious state can be so deep as to create respiratory arrest. This can eventually lead to a cardiac arrest. I believe the only people who should administer this drug are anesthesiologists or nurse anesthetists.

2. I am surprised that the nurse who claims that Michael asked her to inject him with the medication is revealing this info to the press. I believe it's a violation of HIPAA privacy laws, similar to when a plastic surgeon in Beverly Hills revealed through his publicist that he turned down Donda West for surgery due to heart disease.

Thanks for reading.
Michigan-based Plastic Surgeon
Anthony Youn, M.D.
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