There’s a point to this article so stick with it until the very end – we need to talk about midazolam…
Midazolam is a commonly used drug in palliative care and is considered one of the four essential drugs needed for the promotion of quality care in dying patients in the United Kingdom. Think of it as diazepam on steroids.
Midazolam is also a drug that has been used in executions by lethal injection in the USA, combined with two other drugs. Midazolam acts as a sedative to make the prisoner unconscious. The other drugs then stop the lungs and heart working. However it has been the source of controversy as several prisoners took a long while to die and appeared to be in pain when midazolam was used.
Condemned inmate Clayton Lockett apparently regained consciousness and started speaking midway through his 2014 execution when the state of Oklahoma attempted to execute him with an untested three-drug lethal injection combination using 100 mg of midazolam.
Midazolam can also cause serious or life-threatening breathing problems such as shallow, slowed, or temporarily stopped breathing that may lead to permanent brain injury or death.
UK regulators state that you should only receive midazolam in a hospital or doctor’s office that has the equipment that is needed to monitor your heart and lungs and to provide life-saving medical treatment quickly if your breathing slows or stops.
A doctor or nurse should watch you closely after you receive this medication to make sure that you are breathing properly because midazolam induces significant depression of respiration. Your doctor should also be made aware if you have a severe infection or if you have or have ever had any lung, airway, or breathing problems or heart disease.
Midazolam is also used before medical procedures and surgery to cause drowsiness, relieve anxiety, and prevent any memory of the event. It is also sometimes given as part of the anesthesia during surgery to produce a loss of consciousness.
Midazolam is also used to cause a state of decreased consciousness in seriously ill people in intensive care units who are breathing with the help of a machine.
Midazolam should be used with extreme caution in patients who have chronic renal failure, impaired hepatic function, or impaired cardiac function. It should also be used with extreme caution in obese patients, or elderly patients.
What are some of the most important points you should take from this?
- Midazolam induces significant depression of respiration
- UK regulators insist midazolam should only be administered in a hospital or doctor’s office under the supervision of a doctor or nurse to monitor the breathing of the patient in order to provide life saving treatment to the patient if breathing slows or stops.
- Midazolam should be used with extreme caution in elderly patients.
Considering all of the above, how would you feel if we told you we have the evidence to show midazolam may have been used to prematurely end the lives of thousands upon thousands of people, and you were told that they died of Covid-19?
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