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Are MH-susceptible (MHS) individuals at risk for MH symptoms/episode if exposed to triggering agents while working in an operating room or similar environment?

NO. There are no cases reported of MHS patients having problems on exposure to waste anesthetic gases while working in the OR. The usual OR procedures maintain very low, trace amounts of the potent volatile anesthetics in the air. During a mask induction, someone within two feet or so of the face of the patient may be exposed to somewhat greater concentrations, but that is easily avoided. Further, the volatile agents are heavier than air and drift down to the floor, where the excellent ventilation systems efficiently clear the vapors. In addition, the data from pigs indicate that very low concentrations of anesthetics do not trigger MH in these highly susceptible animals. There is only one report of muscle cramps and fatigue in a MHS person who worked in a factory where he was exposed to chemicals whose structure is similar to that of potent inhalation agents. (See Consensus Statement for MHS OR Personnel at www.mhaus.org.)

This item filed in the following categories:
  • Management of MH Susceptible Patients
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scientific understanding of MH and related disorders.