Fatal factors related to abuse of propofol (Diprivan) a case report and review of the literature

Lee, S., & Yoo, S. H.

We report the case of the death of a 38 year-old male plastic surgeon found dead at his own hospital. The only notable reason for his death was intravenously administered propofol. An ampoule of propofol of 20 ml was discovered beside him. Although the pharmacokinetics of propofol would not allow the abuser to insert more than one bolus injection before losing consciousness, the infusion would be continuous in this case via fluid agent. However, the blood concentration of propofol was within therapeutic level, we concluded that death was the result of side effects rather than an overdose similar to other cases of propofol fatalities. In the present case, a continuous infusion contributed the most to the lengthy apnea. As medical professionals are a high incidence group of propofol abuse for recreational use, it would be necessary to investigate on the factors that could cause amplified side effects in cases of propofol fatalities unrelated to overdose.