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Malignant Hyperthermia Preparation in the United States Air Force

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Technical Report

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Uniformed Services University Of The Health Sciences Bethesda United States

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Are United States Air Force hospitals prepared to treat a patient undergoing a malignant hyperthermia crisis Malignant Hyperthermia MH is a life threatening syndrome that affects genetically susceptible individuals when exposed to volatile agents or succinylcholine. Patient survival is based on rapidly diagnosing MH, having a treatment plan in place, and having the necessary drugs and equipment available to treat the patient. The Malignant Hyperthermia Association of the United States MHAUS has advocated a five step readiness plan for hospitals to be prepared to treat an MH crisis. The results of two previous studies show a large number of hospitals are not fully prepared to handle an MH episode. A survey questionnaire was developed based on MHAUS guidelines perform a quantitative study of USAF hospitals. A telephone interview was conductedwith all 39 USAF hospitals in the continental United States and Alaska that provide general surgery and anesthesia. The results showed 100 of the hospitals had atreatment plan in place and the emergency Hotline number to MHAUS was accessible. Also, 100 of the hospitals had an MH treatment cart. The results showed 38 out of 39 hospitals stocked the recommended supply of dantrolene. All of the hospitals fully stocked the ancillary drugs needed when treating MH. All of the hospitals had an ice source and equipment needed to cool the patient during an MH episode. An annual inservice on MH recognition and treatment was performed at 33 out of 39 hospitals. Overall, based on MHAUS standards, USAF hospitals are well prepared with the supplies, equipment and training to treat a patient experiencing an MH crisis.

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