The major hazard with propofol is that patients may stop breathing after a bolus dose, or they may obstruct their upper airway (think of severe snoring that transitions into total obstruction of air moving through the upper airway).
Anesthesia professional are trained to manage these issues, and to keep adequate oxygen delivery and breathing to their patients.
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If the patient needs increased sedation, the ICU nurse will increase the propofol dose.
The majority of physicians, including internal medicine doctors, family practitioners, cardiologists, pediatricians, other surgeons, obstetricians, gynecologists, gastroenterologists, and psychiatrists do not have the necessary training to safely administer propofol.
Propofol is commonly administered in ICU’s (Intensive Care Units) to sedate critically ill patients who are on ventilators.
The depth of sedation is dependent on the dose administered.
Anesthesiologists commonly administer a dose sufficient to induce unconsciousness, which occurs within 15 seconds after the dose is injected from a syringe into a dripping intravenous line.