“When I first heard this, I didn’t believe it,” CNN’s medical correspondent tells syndie daytime show
Add Sanjay Gupta and the cast of "The Doctors" to the list of medical professionals who are perplexed by Conrad Murray's treatment of Michael Jackson.
As Murray's involuntary manslaughter trial continues to unspool, CNN medical correspondent Gupta visited the syndicated medical talk show Thursday to express his dismay over Murray's use of the sedative propofol to treat Jackson's insomnia.
"Back in 2009, when I first heard about this, I didn't believe it," Gupta told Dr. Travis Stork and the rest of the cast. "I remember I got a call from our news desk saying this is what they think happened, and I said, 'This just sounds so bizarre.'"
Gupta continued, "The idea of giving propofol outside of a hospital or outside of a clinic of some sort was just something I'd never heard of before. You have to have monitoring equipment, you have to have resuscitation equipment. And most times when it's used in an operating room, it's because a patient already has a breathing tube in; you assume that a patient isn't going to be able to breathe on their own with enough of this medication, so you have to breathe for them."
Stork was quick to add his own condemnation of Murray's methods.
"As physicians, were all a little astounded that propofol was being given in the first place," Stork asserted.
Stork noted that propofol can be a dangerous drug, with a narrow margin for error.
"You're giving propofol though the vein, and it goes very quickly to the brain," Stork explained. "Its effects can literally take hold within 30 seconds to a minute. If the perfect amount is given, then you'll go to sleep, but if too much is given, the breathing rate will slow down because simple reflexes like breathing dissipate. They'll stop breathing, then their heart will stop beating and they will die. And we suspect this is what happened to Michael."
During Murray's trial Wednesday, expert witnesses similarly condemned Murray's choice of treatment, with UCLA sleep expert Dr. Nader Kamanger calling his use of propofol "frankly disturbing."