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'Jackson may have been saved with antidote'

entertainment Updated: Jun 29, 2009 14:31 IST

A leading British doctor has said the sad demise of Michael Jackson may have been averted had proper medical procedures been followed.

Dr Michael Serpell, leading expert on pain management at Glasgow University, said if the King of Pop was showing adverse effects, such as suppressed beathing, caused from painkiller Demerol, then he should have been given mouth to mouth resuscitation and a dose of Nalexone which acts as an antidote to Demerol.

“A dose of Nalexone completely wipes out the effects of Demerol. He would wake up and be breathing again. It’s life-saving. I have done it myself,” The Daily Express quoted Dr Serpell as saying.

“If we were giving this drug by injection we would give it in a secure setting such as a hospital as the risks are high. Doctors administering this should always have the antidote available to give in case of adverse reactions.

“Patients should be monitored very closely because the risk of overdose with this drug is significant. If there are signs that breathing is suppressed then the antidote should be given. Even if there were other drugs involved it is still worth giving, and there are antidotes to the other drugs which can be given too,” he added.

Dr Russell Newcombe, one of the countries’ leading drug experts, also said a combination of Demerol and its antidote may have worked as a safer alternative.

Dr Newcombe said: “It seems hard to understand why Jackson was given this drug when a combined pill with an antidote was available, particularly as he may not have been well.”

According to entertainment news website TMZ, the Thriller hitmaker got a shot of Demerol on Thursday, the day he died.

Other reports suggested the 50-year-old’s increased drug dependency made him take cocktails of various drugs.

Medical examiners in Los Angeles are yet to determine the cause of his sudden death, but officials confirmed Jackson was on prescription medication.