Malignant hyperthermia (MH) is a silent, inherited metabolic disorder of the muscle that is triggered by specific inhaled anaesthetics or succinylcholine and can result in a severely high body temperature. The study set out to determine the possibility of a more expedient method of warming the diluent in order to mix it with antrolene sodium (DS), thus saving precious time between the onset of MH and the administration of DS.

The study was conducted by Kevin Baker, staff nurse anaesthetist for West End Anesthesia Group at St. Mary’s Hospital in Richmond and colleagues. The researchers discovered that by warming the DS diluent (sterile water) to 41 degrees Celsius it safely lessoned the mixing time and resulted in faster treatment of patients suffering from MH.

Thirty seconds or more could be shaved off the DS preparation process, which normally takes two minutes. To conduct the study, two standard fluid warmers were used that are typically found in hospital rooms around the country.

“Every second counts when treating a patient with malignant hyperthermia,” said research associate Donna Landriscina, Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist (CRNA). “This research indicates that it is possible to administer DS faster, thereby increasing the patient’s chances of a successful outcome.”

The diagnosis of malignant hyperthermia in a patient requires swift action on the part of the anaesthesia provider. “For years, nurse anaesthetists have been on the forefront of research that has greatly enhanced anaesthesia safety,” said Kevin Baker. “New discoveries of best practices such as this one will benefit patients for decades to come.”; Source: American Association of Nurse Anesthetists (AANA)