Strictly Clinical
  • MHAUS- Advancing Scientific Knowledge of Malignant Hypothermia

    The Malignant Hypothermia Association of the United States (MHAUS) is a nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting optimum care and scientific understanding of malignant hypothermia (MH) and related disorders.

    MH is a potentially fatal, inherited disorder usually associated with the administration of volatile anesthetic gases (e.g., desflurane, enflurane, halothane, sevoflurane) and/or the drug succinylcholine. The disorder is due to an acceleration of metabolism in skeletal muscle, resulting in muscle breakdown and abnormally increased levels of cell calcium in the skeletal muscle. The signs of MH include muscle rigidity, rapid heart rate, high body temperature, muscle breakdown, and increased acid content. Dantrolene is currently the only clinically accepted drug treatment for MH.

    One of the primary goals of MHAUS is to educate the entire spectrum of healthcare professionals so MH is rapidly recognized and properly treated by persons in all disciplines of medicine. MHUAS not only supports research in MH, but the organization advises and prepares medical facilities nationwide for prompt diagnosis and immediate treatment of an MH episode.

    In 2022, MHAUS worked with Health Scholars to create an MH Virtual Reality Simulation designed to validate and refresh competencies requisite to identifying and managing a patient experiencing MH. The VR Simulation has been published and is available on the Health Scholars website. AANA representative and MHAUS Board of Directors member, Jacqueline Sumanis, CRNA, DNAP, reviewed the simulation and provided several suggestions to enhance the simulation moving forward.

    Malignant hyperthermia causes complications in 1 in 100,000 surgical procedures in adults and 1 in 30,000 surgical procedures in children (Health Scholars). Though uncommon, when considering the 234 million major surgical procedures that occur worldwide per year, being prepared for malignant hyperthermia is crucial to all perioperative team members. MHAUS is committed to optimizing MH education, patient outcomes, and team functioning during MH emergencies.

    MHAUS offers guidance for the emergency treatment of an acute MH event and a 24-hour emergency hotline (1-800-644-9737) for clinicians who need immediate assistance in the management of an MH crisis.

    AANA members are able to save $20 off the MHAUS yearly membership price, making the cost just $30 for annual membership and all the benefits that come with it. MHAUS also offers graduating CRNAs a free, one-year MHAUS membership.

    For additional MH resources visit www.mhaus.com or www.aanacom/MH.

    References

    1.       Health Scholars. Malignant Hyperthermia: Virtual Reality Clinical Training. (n.d.). https://www.healthscholars.com/help-center-articles/malignant-hyperthemia.