In my story, the villain keeps the victim alive, while removing their organs (before eating them). I need a drug that will keep the victim alive but sedated. I don’t want to use curare. What would be a workable drug?
I’d suggest IV Propofol (the drug that killed Michael Jackson). It’s a powerful but short-acting sedative, a white liquid sometimes called “mother’s milk” by anesthesiologists. I've seen patients sedated enough to quit breathing, and wake up within 15-20 minutes. The drug is rapidly metabolized-- i.e. before "dinner" for your killer.
To do the proposed organ harvest (and have the victim not flailing around) the killer would need to administer enough to affect respiration, so your “surgeon” would require a way to breathe for the patient—a tube in the airway to get oxygen to the lungs. If your killer can put a tube down the victim's throat, or cut a hole in front in the trachea and put in a tube, breathing for the victim can be done two ways:
1) Someone could "bag" the victim (and a bellows-type bag squeezed 10-16 times a minute) until the killer gets the organs out. This would require a second person. In third world countries, medical organizations have used a McGyver version of this with a garbage bag as an oxygen reservoir and a bellows.
2) A mechanical ventilator. Consider having him steal a mechanical ventilator. An ambulance, Life Flight helicopter, or a doctor's office that has a surgical suite would be places to look.
These portable vents can be ordered online if you have a medical credential (maybe for your book, a fake credential). If I were your killer, I'd steal a portable ventilator and the propofol (which is a hospital item).
Kelly has worked in the medical field for over twenty years, mainly at large medical centers. With experience in a variety of settings, chances are Kelly may have seen it.
Sometimes truth seems stranger than fiction in medicine, but accurate medicine in fiction is fabulous.
Find her fiction at www.kellywhitley.com.
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