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I read with interest the editorial by Hartle and Malhotra on safety
of the anaesthetic drug propofol and also the subsequent letter by Sen
supporting the use of propofol for procedural sedation in emergency
The data sheet for Diprivan 1% (propofol 1% manufactured by
AstraZeneca UK Limited) states: “Diprivan 1% should be given by those
trained in anaesthesia or, where appropriate, doctors trained in the care
of patients in Intensive Care.”3 Those without such training that choose
to administer propofol may be subjected to criticism if difficulty
secondary to the use of this drug arises. While propofol may be
appropriate for the use in the emergency department it must, nonetheless,
still be given “by the right people”.
1 Hartle A, Malhotra S. The safety of propofol. BMJ 2009;339:b4024.
2 Sen A. Propofol is safely and widely used in emergency departments.
BMJ 2009;339:1100. (14 November)
3 Diprivan 1% data sheet, 5 August 2009, available at the electronic
Medicines Compendium, emc.medicines.org.uk