Propofol and Music during surgery


The trial of Conrad Murray is over and he was found guilty.  Things have to get pretty bad for someone to need propofol to sleep every night!  But Dr. Murray was willing to do this for Michael for enough money!

  It seems that Propofol has been used in surgery for about 35 years now and has been used safely.  Of course, Propofol (diprivan) was never intended to put people to sleep; people who suffer from insomnia and are at home.  Propofol is en extremely effect agent for inducing anesthesia and temporary amnesia.  Because of its milky appearance and its usefulness in the operating room, it is sometimes called “Milk of Amnesia.”  Tragically, Dr. Murray was accused of involuntary manslaughter because he illegally gave Michael Jackson Propofol in his home, because Jackson had severe insomnia.  Apparently, Murray had been doing this for sometime but did not know enough about the whole process to prevent this from happening.

Can music through headphones be used to affect the amount of Propofol required by the patient?  Take a look at this  study, done back on 2005, which I now present to you:

Anaesthesia. 2005 Oct;60(10):990-4.

Effects of music on target-controlled infusion of propofol requirements during combined spinal-epidural anaesthesia.


Department of Anaesthesiology, Tongji Medical College, Huazhong University of Science and Technology, Wuhan, China.


The sedative effects of music were evaluated using the bispectral index (BIS) during target-controlled infusion (TCI) propofol. A total of 110 women undergoing hysterectomy were randomly allocated to receive either music or no music. Propofol was administered using target-controlled infusion and the concentration adjusted gradually to achieve an observer’s assessment of alertness/sedation (OAA/S) score of 3 intra-operatively. The haemodynamic and bispectral index values during the sedation phase were recorded. Interleukin-6 was evaluated before, immediately after and 1 h following intervention. The music group had a significant reduction in mean (SD) induction time of sedation: 12 (12) min vs. 18 (12) min, p < 0.01; propofol target concentration: 1.6 (0.3) vs. 2.4 (0.4), p < 0.0001; intra-operative amount of propofol: 171 (98) mg vs. 251 (92) mg, p < 0.0001; and significantly higher levels of satisfaction with their peri-operative care: 9.6 (0.6) compared to the control group: 8.1 (1.0), p < 0.0001. No other differences were found. The results show the influence of music on the induction time of sedation, concentration and level of propofol during surgery, and suggest sedative benefits of music.