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Malignant Hyperthermia (MH) is a life threatening syndrome characterized by hypermetabolism, hyperthermia, acidosis, muscle contraction, muscle membrane breakdown, hyperkalemia and rhabdomyolysis. The syndrome occurs as a result of exposure to certain drugs and /or environmental conditions.
On September 20, 2010 I had the privilege of being a visiting professor at the University of Colorado, Denver Medical School and delivering the annual Hermann B. Stein MD, endowed lecture. Dr. Stein practiced anesthesiology in Denver for many years in the 1920s, 30s and 40s. His son then became an anesthesiologist and practiced the specialty for close to 40 years. One of his daughters is now a practicing anesthesiologist in New England. Three generations of anesthesiologists. Pretty striking.
Over the past several months, since our April scientific conference, I have been thinking about the question “How should we define MH”? Sounds like a pretty straightforward question, but in reality it is quite complex.
July 2010 will mark the 50th anniversary of a publication that identified an inherited condition that would eventually be named Malignant Hyperthermia Syndrome.
In March of 2010 we carried out an MH drill at my institution. It was an important exercise and we learned several important lessons.
Over the past many years since MH was first described, a lot has been learned about both the clinical presentations as well as the underlying problems that cause malignant hyperthermia. Of course there is much more to learn but often as new information is accumulated those ideas or clinical recommendations that were based on concepts that have been disproved remain. In this blog I will describe ten myths related to MH that hotline consultants still hear either from callers or at national meetings
Thanks to the efforts of many patients and health care providers who have an interest in the problem of MH, many states will declare March to be MH Awareness and Training month. This effort will serve to alert the community of patients and providers to the problem of MH and prevent deaths and disability from MH.
As we begin the New Year and the new decade, it is appropriate to review the accomplishments of the past year and look forward to what lies ahead for the next year(s).
Advances in anesthesia care over the past several decades have changed the way anesthetics are administered. Compared to even three decades ago anesthesiology has changed from an art to a science (although still a somewhat inexact science). One of the crucial developments in anesthesiology that is responsible for the improved outcomes in anesthesia care is the exact measurement of physiologic changes.
Each October thousands of anesthesiologists gather together for five days under the auspices of the American Society of Anesthesiologists for an annual comprehensive meeting on issues related to anesthesiology. The meeting consists of scientific presentations, commercial exhibits, and discussions of political and organizational issues related to the specialty.
In early May 2006 I received a phone call from the Medical Examiner’s office in New York City. The reason for the call was a death of a young man a day or so previously in after surgery in an ambulatory surgery center on the upper East Side of Manhattan.
MHAUS is fortunate to have many of the world's experts on MH serving currently or in the past on our hotline and/or Professional Advisory Council. I will therefore from time to time, ask one of them to fill in for me in writing the monthly blog. Dr. Tom Nelson, who is now retired, spent many years researching the presentation and pathophysiology of MH in animals and in man. I and members of the MH community have learned a great deal from him. I think you will enjoy reading his views on Calcium.
Like the American Society of Anesthesiologists, the Canadian Anesthesiologists Society holds an annual educational meeting for its members. This past June MHAUS exhibited at the Canadian meeting. This was the first time in many years that we elected to attend the Canadian meeting. The reasons for this are several.
There is no doubt that over the past 30 years MH has gone from a virtually unknown, highly fatal problem to one that is well described in every textbook of anesthesia, surgery, medicine, and nursing.
Those of you who are reading this “blog” undoubtedly know that MH is an inherited disorder characterized by abnormal structure and function of a specific calcium channel within skeletal muscle.