Propofol is a great drug – in context.


That’s right, in context. Let me explain.

Propofol is a great anesthetic drug, one that has allowed for a faster recovery from anesthesia and allowed for a greater safety in sedating patients, while still allowing physicians to turn it off with little residual. It’s used in the OR, in various procedure suites – GI, cardiac, etc – to sedate patients. It’s used as sedation in the intensive care unit when a person is on a ventilator. The nice thing about it is that an intensivist can turn it off, and ten minutes later be able to assess the neurological function of a patient.

That said, Propofol is like gasoline.

If you’re given an open bowl filled with gasoline while standing in two feet of water, soaking wet, you’re not really going to be too concerned. If it’s sitting in a proper container, stored safely, you aren’t concerned. And when the proper people use it, you aren’t too concerned either.

Now, a bowl of gasoline would be much more unsafe if you were near something rather hot, or near a fire, or on fire yourself. In fact, most people would regard you as borderline stupid if you did these things.

same thing with Propofol

It should never be administered in a home
It should never be given and the patient left alone
(I’m feeling very Dr Seuss-ish now)
It shouldn’t be given by personnel not trained in its use, and how to rescue someone who’s been sedated too deeply with it
It should never be given without the proper monitoring


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