In the wake of news reports concerning the possible use of such anesthetic drugs as Diprivan (propofol) by the late Michael Jackson, questions have been raised about the availability and administration of such agents.
According to their website, the American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons (AAOMS) and its 8,500 fellows and members who are licensed to practice oral and maxillofacial surgery in the United States, support the position of the American Society of Anesthesiologists, which states that:
“. . . Diprivan, or its generic name propofol, is a drug meant only for use in a medical setting by professionals trained in the provision of general anesthesia. Though the drug is often used for procedures requiring sedation, patients can have extremely variable responses to the drug and some patients can become completely anesthetized, including losing the ability to breathe. Diprivan should never be used outside of a controlled and monitored medical setting."
As the surgical specialists of the dental profession, oral and maxillofacial surgeons are trained in all aspects of anesthesia administration. During training, OMS residents complete a rotation on the medical anesthesiology service, during which they train alongside anesthesiology residents under the supervision of an anesthesiologist.
Those who complete an oral and maxillofacial surgery residency training program are competent to administer safe and efficient anesthesia in the outpatient setting. With their training in both patient evaluation and emergency management, they are prepared to address situations they may encounter.
The American Society of Anesthesiologists (ASA), the educational, research and scientific association of physician anesthesiologists, supports the ability of oral and maxillofacial surgeons to safely and competently administer anesthesia in the office-based surgical setting.
The key word here: surgical setting. The thought of a doctor assisting Jackson "use" Diprivan at home is unimaginable to me. Let's face it; Michael Jackson's life was anything but normal, but the events leading up to his death sound more like a scene out of a Quentin Tarantino movie. If you have never witnessed someone undergoing general anesthesia, Dr. Sanjay Gupta over at CNN.com takes you inside the operating room, for a first-hand look at Diprivan at use in this video. My opinion: simply frightening.