eISSN: 1731-2531
ISSN: 1642-5758
Anaesthesiology Intensive Therapy
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vol. 54
Original paper

Malignant hyperthermia in Mazovia Province – are we adequately prepared?

Agnieszka Cieniewicz
Janusz Trzebicki

  1. 1st Department of Anaesthesiology and Intensive Care, Medical University of Warsaw, Poland
Anaesthesiol Intensive Ther 2022; 54, 2: 99–102
Online publish date: 2022/04/22
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Malignant hyperthermia (MH) is a life-threatening syndrome caused by sudden skeletal muscle hypermetabolism in response to inhalation anaesthetics and depolarising relaxants. The estimated incidence of MH is between 1 : 10,000 and 1 : 250,000 anaesthetic procedures. In Poland the incidence of MH is unknown. Dantrolene is imported as a life-saving drug and temporally authorised for sale. The aim of the study is to assess the incidence of MH and access to dantrolene in the Mazovia Province.

Anonymous questionnaires were sent to anaesthesia departments in the Mazovia Province after prior contact by phone and e-mail. The survey was approved by the local ethical review board.

Completed surveys were received from 60 respondents which represents 72% of anaesthesiology departments in Mazovia. In the last 5 years there have been 4 episodes of MH in the Mazovia Province. Three patients survived the MH crisis. In a centre that did not have access to dantrolene, the patient died. Dantrolene is found only in 11 (18.3%) anaesthesiology departments in Mazovia. Only 6 (10%) hospitals are able to administer dantrolene within 5 minutes of suspecting MH crisis, while 5 centres may receive it after a few days. Only 38% of units have an algorithm for dealing with MH crisis in the operating theatres.

MH is rare, but if untreated, it can be fatal. Therefore prompt diagnosis and treatment are crucial to avoid fatal outcome. Every centre using inhalational anaesthetics and/or succinylcholine should have dantrolene. To ensure the safety of our patients, we must be better prepared.


perioperative care, malignant hyperthermia, dantrolene, safety of patient

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