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Conrad Murray Trial: Day 12

Suji Pyun |
October 13, 2011 | 4:30 p.m. PDT

Staff Reporter


Dr. Conrad Murray converses with his defense attorney Ed Chernoff. (Irfan Khan, Los Angeles Times)
Dr. Conrad Murray converses with his defense attorney Ed Chernoff. (Irfan Khan, Los Angeles Times)
A top expert on propofol told jurors today that he researched and established the dosing guidelines of the drug, proving that it had to be used very carefully, according to the LA Times

“If the doctor is off just by a little, a dose could result in a patient taking hours rather than minutes to wake up from sedation,” professor of anesthesiology at Columbia University Dr. Steven Shafter said.  

According to Fox News, experts told jurors earlier today that Conrad Murray acted with “gross negligence” while treating the king of pop.

A UCLA sleep expert, Dr. Nader Kamanger, stressed in court that the doctor committed “egregious” violations of standards of medical care when he gave Jackson the surgical anesthetic propofol in a home setting without monitoring equipment. 

“Jackson was receiving, in addition to saline fluid for dehydration, a ‘cocktail’ of potent sedatives in an inappropriate home setting, with insufficient monitoring,” Kamanger said.  “And ultimately the cocktail was a recipe for disaster in a patient that had underlying dehydration.”

In his testimony, Kamanger said he suspects that Murray administered more propofol than the single, minimal 25-milligram dose that the defense said was given to Jackson.

According to police, Murray told officials that he left Jackson sleeping for two minutes to use the bathroom and returned to find him not breathing.

“When you monitor a patient, you never leave his side, especially after giving propofol,” cardiologist Dr. Alon Steinberg said in court.  “It’s like leaving a baby sleeping on your kitchen countertop. You would never do it because there’s a small – a very, very small – chance that the baby could fall or grab a knife or something.”

Kamanger also agreed with Steinberg, stating that leaving the room without an assistant watching the patient violated the “fundamental basics of the Hippocratic oath…not to abandon your patient,” according to USA Today.

Furthermore, Steinberg claimed that Murray could have saved Michael Jackson’s life if he called 911 immediately after he discovered that the pop star stopped breathing.  Paramedics could have used oxygen-administering equipment and heart-reviving drugs to save Jackson.

According to USA Today, Steinberg said he found it “bizarre” that a medical professional did not call 911 as his first action.  Kamanger also called the delay “an extreme and unconscionable violation of the standard of care.”

Both doctors claim that Murray’s errors were direct causes of the pop star’s death.

Reach reporter Suji Pyun here.

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