Canadian Anesthesiologists Comment on Jackson Death

    TORONTO, Aug. 27 /CNW/ - The Canadian Anesthesiologists' Society (CAS)
represents the only trained physicians providing anesthetic services in
Canada. CAS is responding to reports that Michael Jackson was given a fatal
combination of drugs, including the powerful anesthetic propofol, prior to his
death on June 25. Propofol is administered intravenously to induce and
maintain sedation or general anesthesia in settings like the operating room,
the intensive care unit or the emergency room where the cardiovascular and
respiratory status of the patient can be closely monitored. Physicians
administering propofol should be fully trained in cardio-pulmonary
resuscitation; propofol should never be used as a "sleep aid".
    General anesthesia may seem like being asleep but is actually quite
different. During general anesthesia, an anesthesiologist keeps the patient in
a carefully controlled unconscious state and monitors that the anesthetic
depth is appropriate. Cardiovascular and respiratory functions have to be
monitored and often actively supported. General anesthetics like propofol and
potent analgesics are administered in appropriate amounts so that the patient
is completely unconscious during surgery, but awake at the end with an
adequate level of pain control.
    Canadian anesthesiologists are physicians who have completed a university
pre-medical program, followed by medical school and then five or more years of
specialized (residency) training in anesthesiology. Anesthesiologists give
more intravenous drugs than all other types of physicians combined and have
expert knowledge of the extremely potent drugs used to anesthetize people.
They are specialists in perioperative medicine, the medical care before,
during and after surgery. They are also experts in the treatment of acute and
chronic pain.

    CAS was founded in 1943 and dedicated to the advancement of the medical
practice of anesthesia through research, education and excellence in patient
care. The membership consists of 1700 anesthesiologists and 1,000 other
physicians, researchers, residents and anesthesia assistants.

For further information:

For further information: Stan Mandarich, CAS Executive Director, Tel:
(416) 480-0602 ex 14; Josée Ouellet, CAS Communications Officer, Tel: (416)
480-0602 ex 12

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