Hyperthermia - malignant; Hyperpyrexia - malignant
During an episode of malignant hyperthermia, wrapping the patient in a cooling blanket can help reduce fever and the risk of serious complications. Drugs such as dantrolene, lidocaine, or a beta-blocker drug can help with heart rhythm problems.
To preserve kidney function during an episode, you must get fluids through a vein and by mouth, as well as certain medications.
Malignant Hyperthermia Association of the United States - www.mhaus.org
Repeated episodes or untreated episodes can cause kidney failure. Untreated episodes can be fatal.
- Breakdown of muscle tissue (
Compartment syndrome(swelling of the hands and feet and problems with blood flow and nerve function)
- Disseminating intravascular coagulation (abnormal blood clotting and bleeding)
- Heart rhythm problems
- Kidney failure
- Respiratory dysfunction (fluid buildup in the lungs)
- Weak muscles (myopathy) or
Calling your health care provider
Tell both the surgeon and anesthesiologist before having any surgery if:
- You know that you or a member of your family has had problems with general anesthesia
- You know you have a family history of malignant hyperthermia
Review Date: 04/01/2011
Reviewed By: Jacob L. Heller, MD, MHA, Emergency Medicine, Virginia Mason Medical Center, Seattle, Washington. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc.