Yes, patients can push propofol themselves. Surprised! Let’s jump to find out how, why, and where this can happen.

How do patients push propofol themselves?

Click this video link below to see a youtube video in action where a guy pushes propofol himself. This is not my video but an example from youtube. You can see here how the doctor attaches the propofol syringe to an intravenous line. From there on the anesthesia doctor says push, push” The guy in the video says “I’m gonna get that funny face right now”.

In a real-life situation, something similar happens. The anesthesia doctor will do the following:

  • Place the following monitors – Electrocardiogram
  • Pulse oximetry
  • Blood pressure (monitors may sometimes be placed after propofol is given in certain situations)
  • An intravenous line is placed.
  • The propofol syringe is attached
  • The patient pushes this and slowly drifts to sleep.
  • Monitoring for ventilation and temperature will also be performed.

Why do patients push propofol themselves?

There are patients who have anesthesia many times in their lifetime. A classic example is children who have cancer. They need anesthesia for many surgical and medical procedures. Patients who have anesthesia multiple times cultivate a habit that they like. The anesthesia doctors are respectful of what they ask and if they ask if patients can push anesthesia, they typically agree. Of course, this happens in presence of an anesthesia doctor who makes sure the patients are safe and comfortable.

Where can patients push propofol themselves?

Propofol is a dangerous medicine. It should be used only by people who are trained and authorized to use based on the country you are in. You should never ever inject propofol yourself as it can kill you. You all remember what happened to the legendary Michael Jackson who died because of propofol.

When used in the right place by the right people for the right reasons, propofol can be administered safely. Patients can push propofol themselves only when they are in a place where anesthesia can be safely administered with trained personnel available.

Can patients taste propofol when they push it?

Interestingly few people do say they taste propofol when it is injected. I have personally had propofol and did not have this experience. If you had propofol do share your experience by commenting below.

Are monitors important when propofol is pushed by patients?

Monitors are important irrespective of who pushes the propofol. It does not matter if the patient pushes this or the doctor, there are recommended minimum mandatory monitoring requirements. For example in the USA, the American Society of Anesthesiologists recommends standards for basic monitoring during anesthesia.

When using pulse oximetry as a monitor which is a must when using propofol, the Anesthesia Patient Safety Foundation recommends that this be placed on the ring finger or the little finger. This is to prevent any accidental injury to the eye by pulse oximetry when patients are waking up after propofol. There is a reflex to take the finger to the eyes and nose during anesthesia wake up.

Click to watch this video as I walk through how this actually happens:

VIDEO DISCLAIMER: All the views expressed in this video and other videos on the channel are personal opinions of the speakers and do not represent the views of the organizations either past or present they represent

MEDICAL ADVICE DISCLAIMER: All content in this video and description including information, opinions, content, references, and links are for informational purposes ONLY. Accessing, viewing, reading, or otherwise using this content, or providing any medical information to the author does NOT create a physician-patient relationship. The information in this video is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for the services of a trained physician or health care professional, or otherwise to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. You should consult a licensed physician or appropriately credentialed health care worker or your own doctor/healthcare professional in all matters relating to your health or your child’s health or both. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking it because of something you have seen or read in this video.


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