Police have purportedly found a powerful anaesthetic drug designed for surgical use in Michael Jackson 's home, according to reports.
Celebrity news website TMZ.com , which originally broke the news about Jackson's death last week, reports that police have found Propofol, also known by the brand name Diprivan, at the singer's Beverly Hills home.
Jackson died of a suspected cardiac arrest at his home last Thursday (local time). The LA coroner's office performed an autopsy on Jackson's body on Friday but deferred a decision, ordering toxicology tests before determining the cause of death. Jackson's family has also requested a second, private autopsy.
The potent anaesthesia Propofol is used to sedate patients before surgery, according to the TMZ report, and says that the drug is only available to medical personnel, and is usually given to patients via an intravenous drip.
The website quotes a source as saying: "There is no conceivable way this drug can be properly prescribed for home use."
The drug can also reportedly cause cardiac arrest if taken in combination with narcotic painkillers.
Los Angeles County Coroner's officials have not commented on the alleged discovery of a sedation drug at Jackson's home, but they have previously said that they have discovered various prescription drugs earlier this week.
'Pleaded for sedative'
Jackson pleaded for a powerful sedative to help relieve his insomnia, a nurse, Cherilyn Lee , who treated the singer over the past few months, claims.
Jackson, suffering from crippling bouts of insomnia in the days before his death, allegedly pleaded with Lee, a registered nurse who operates a Los Angeles-based nutritional counselling business, for the powerful sedative Diprivan.
The singer reportedly told the nurse he had been administered the drug, given through an IV, in the past by an unnamed doctor.
"I asked him, What doctor gave you this drug?'" she said, "He told me, Oh it was a long time ago.'"
But Lee, who first met Jackson in January after he enlisted her help to treat his children for a common cold, said she refused to get the drug for him, telling him, "you won't wake up".
"I told him this medication is not safe. He said, I just want to get some sleep. You don't understand. I just want to be able to be knocked out and go to sleep.
"I told him - and it is so painful that I actually felt it in my whole spirit - If you take this you might not wake up,'" she told the Associated Press.
"He said, 'No, my doctor said it's safe. It works quick and it's safe as long as somebody's here to monitor me and wake me up. It's going to be OK,'" Lee said.
She added: "He wasn't looking to get high or feel good and sedated from drugs. This was a person who was not on drugs. This was a person who was seeking help, desperately, to get some sleep, to get some rest."
Lee said she received a frantic call from a member of Jackson's entourage four days before he died, and that she could hear the singer screaming in agony in the background.
"He called and was very frantic and said, 'Michael needs to see you right away,'" Lee, who was in Florida at the time, told the AP. "I said, 'What's wrong?' And I could hear Michael in the background [saying], 'One side of my body is hot, it's hot, and one side of my body is cold, it's very cold.'
She said she told one of Jackson's entourage to take him to a hospital. "I was really afraid because of the symptoms they were telling me," she said.
"I said, 'Tell him he needs to go the hospital. I don't know what's going on, but he needs to go to the hospital... right away.'
"At that point I knew that somebody had given him something that hit the central nervous system.
"He was in trouble Sunday and he was crying out."
Lee said she made about 10 visits in all to Jackson's house between January and April this year, administering herbal remedies and vitamins to Jackson and his three children.
She also said she didn't know why Jackson called her.
"The only think I can think of is he recalled the symptoms I was telling him," she said.
CNN reports they could not independently verify whether Lee had actually worked with Jackson, but reports that she is a registered nurse, according to the California Board of Registered Nursing website.
Commenting on Lee's account, Jackson family lawyer Londell McMillan said: “I wonder why someone would make a comment about drugs when they haven't seen him take the drug or anyone who administered it.”
Meanwhile, Dr. Howard Nearman , department chairman of anesthesia at University Hospitals Case Medical Center in Ohio, tells FOXNews.com: “When I heard it last night I just did a double-take.
“Using this drug [Demerol] for insomnia is sort of like using a shotgun to kill an ant. How someone could get a hold of this medication — and use it for the purpose that he allegedly used it for - is just incredible.
“It should not be used out of an ICU or an operating room setting,” Nearman said.
“Here at University Hospitals Case Medical Center… Diprivan can only be used by anesthesiologists or intensivists… and these people, who by virtues of training and experience, can handle this drug and manage any adverse side effect should they arise.”
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