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Malignant Hyperthermia

 

Malignant hyperthermia (MH) is a condition triggered by certain general anesthetics and neuromuscular blocking agent succinylcholine and may lead to death.

Causes

  • Inherited autosomal dominant genetic defect
  • Defect in calcium channel regulation in the muscle cell

Symptoms

  • Muscular rigidity
  • Increased oxygen consumption
  • Increased heart rate
  • Increased body temperature (upto 105 degrees F or higher)
  • Brown urine

Treatment
Treatment should be started immediately and includes:

  • Stopping exposure to the triggering factor
  • Intravenous dantrolene
  • Cooling blanket or sponging to bring down temperature
  • Intravenous medications and fluids to maintain organ function

Prevention

  • Testing people with family history or past history of malignant hyperthermia or hyperthermia before surgeries
  • Avoiding anesthetics known to trigger malignant hyperthermia in people with a past history of malignant hyperthermia