Malignant hyperthermia (MH) occurs due to a reaction. Hence, the reaction is between an illness and its reaction to an anesthetic drug. Examples of its symptoms are muscle cramps and high fever. Unlike other injuries, MH results from internal body issues. Also, MH is a deadly condition. It is good to know that there is available effective malignant hyperthermia treatment.
- Muscle cramps
- Fast and shallow breathing
- Irregular heart rate
- Dark brown or bloody urine
- Patches in skin
- Very high fever (a hyperthermia temperature is 40°C and up)
- Sweating too much
Once the patient reaches a high body temperature, it might be too late. However, the good news is that there are treatments for it.
Moreover, other diseases can have similar signs with it. However, not all signs happen to all patients. Yet, it is better to act fast than to wait for all the signs to show up. The faster the action is the higher the chance of recovery to happen.
The body of someone who is at risk for this illness gives off too much calcium into the muscle. As a result, muscle pain and spasms occur. Also, dantrolene is a treatment for hyperthermia as it stops the release of calcium.
Furthermore, tell your doctor if you have liver disease as it can damage the liver. Hene, this drug can calm the muscles. Follow the doctor’s recommended amount of intake for this treatment. By doing so, you’ll prevent further problems.
2. Reduce Body Temperature
Cool the body through cool packs or sponge. Also, place a cooling fan on the patient. Another is the use of cold IV fluids in the patient.
One symptom of MH is rapid and shallow breathing. So, the injured lacks oxygen in the blood. Therefore, give oxygen through a tube placed in the trachea or through a face mask. This hyperthermia treatment will aid in the irregular heart rate.
Someone who experiences the symptoms of MH must stay in the hospital. So, doctors can track their health. Importantly, they will take note of your temperature, heart rate, and blood pressure.
4. Immediate Treatment
- Stop the patient’s use of inhaled anesthetic gas. Turn off the vaporizers. Also, put an activated charcoal filter in the circuit.
- Do not give succinylcholine. This drug relaxes the muscles and is given with anesthesia.
- Also, ask for immediate help.
- Stop the surgery (if possible). However, if it can’t be stopped, use a total IV pain blocker drug.
- Increase air to lessen end-tidal carbon dioxide.
- Increase oxygen supply (10L/min).
- Then, Use IV dantrolene.
- Cool the patient until hyperthermia temperature goes to 38.5ºC.
- Check arterial blood gases, electrolytes, CK, blood, and urine myoglobin.
- Treat irregular heart rate.
- It can lower the potassium level in the blood. Do not use calcium channel blockers.
- Consequently, it is important to observe the patient in the ICU for 24 hours.
- It is good to check urine output.
- Continue with dantrolene if signs show up again.
- Suggest MH testing for the patient and family.
- Taking blood samples
- Studying the blood clot
- Taking a small part of muscle tissue (mostly from the upper leg)
- Urine myoglobin test
Places where most MH occur:
- Emergency rooms (ER)
- Dental clinics
- Surgeon’s office
- Intensive care units (ICU)
- Kidney failure
- Heart problem
- Blood flow and nerve function problem
- An acid build-up in the body
- Injured muscles
Moreover, people only knew about it after their reaction to a certain drug. MH is rare, and 1 out of 5000 experience it. Unless you inhaled an anesthetic drug, you wouldn’t know if you have one. Hence, it is important to undergo tests and know your family’s background.
To prevent a bad reaction, talk with a doctor before surgery. If one of your parents has it, you have a 50% chance of having it. Therefore, it will be the same for your kids. If a relative had symptoms of MH, it is good to tell your doctor. Also, if a relative has MH, you have a high chance of having it too. Likewise, anesthetic drugs block the feeling of pain. So, two options are to go without it, or a doctor might recommend other drugs. Some drugs won’t make your body react to it.