Death from propofol: accident, suicide, or murder?

Anesth Analg. 2009 Apr;108(4):1182-4. doi: 10.1213/ane.0b013e318198d45e.


A 24-yr-old woman was found dead in her home from apparent propofol "toxicity." Her blood level of propofol was 4.3 microg/mL. She had no history of drug abuse and no evidence of such behavior at autopsy. The medical examiner and police investigators felt that she died from probable homicide. Attention was focused on a male registered nurse acquaintance, who had acquired propofol and other drugs in the course of his regular duties in a surgical intensive care unit. This is the first reported case of murder with propofol.

Publication types

  • Case Reports
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Anesthetics, Intravenous / administration & dosage
  • Anesthetics, Intravenous / blood
  • Anesthetics, Intravenous / poisoning*
  • Drug Labeling
  • Drug Overdose
  • Fatal Outcome
  • Female
  • Homicide*
  • Humans
  • Injections, Intravenous
  • Male
  • Propofol / administration & dosage
  • Propofol / blood
  • Propofol / poisoning*
  • Substance Abuse, Intravenous*
  • Suicide
  • Young Adult


  • Anesthetics, Intravenous
  • Propofol