LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Doctors who tried to revive Michael Jackson at a Los Angles hospital testified on Monday that the singer’s personal physician never told them he gave him the anesthetic propofol as a sleep aid.
The testimony came as the involuntary manslaughter trial of Dr. Conrad Murray entered its second week. Medical examiners have determined Jackson, 50, died on June 25, 2009 from an overdose of propofol and sedatives.
Emergency doctors at UCLA Medical Center in Los Angeles said that Jackson was already dead when he arrived there. Nevertheless, lengthy attempts were made to revive him before he was pronounced dead at 2:26 p.m.
“My assessment when he arrived was that he was clinically dead,” emergency room doctor Richelle Cooper said.
Murray told doctors that he had given Jackson only the sedative lorazepam.
Cardiologist Thao Nguyen said she could not get Murray to explain to her how much time passed between when he gave Jackson the lorazepam, and when the singer stopped breathing.
“He said he did not have any concept of time, he did not have a watch,” Nguyen told jurors.
Two days after Jackson’s death, Murray admitted to police that he gave the singer 25 milligrams of propofol as a sleep aid on the day he died. Prosecutors have said Murray gave Jackson that propofol at about 10:45 a.m., based on his statements to police.
Murray’s defense attorney, J. Michael Flanagan, asked Cooper how long a patient who received the relatively small dose of 25 mg of propofol would remain sedated.
“If it did achieve sedation, I would expect if he didn’t have any medical problems, within seven to 10 minutes it would probably be worn off,” Cooper said.
Prosecutors have argued Murray acted irresponsibly by administering propofol, which can stop a person from breathing, at home instead of in a hospital where there is equipment needed to revive a patient in an emergency.
Cooper testified that when she administers propofol, there is a doctor and a nurse monitoring on hand, and that there is equipment to monitor heart and breathing.
Paramedics have testified they did not see such machines in Jackson’s bedroom.
Also on Monday, phone company officials testified Murray was busy on his cell phone between 10:45 a.m., when he is believed to have administered the propofol, and 11:56 a.m. when prosecutors say he interrupted a phone call when he discovered Jackson had stopped breathing.
Defense attorneys claim that after Murray gave Jackson propofol, the pop star took another, fatal, dose of the drug when Murray was out of the room.
Murray, who has pleaded not guilty, faces up to four years in prison if convicted.
Editing by Jill Serjeant and Eric Walsh