TIL Malignant Hyperthermia is a deadly reaction to general anesthesia. Most don't know they have the condition until it's too late. It's the reason anesthesiologists always ask you if anyone in the family had a fatal reaction to anesthesia.

_"Malignant hyperthermia is a severe reaction to particular anesthetic drugs that are often used during surgery and other invasive procedures.

If given these drugs, people at risk of malignant hyperthermia may experience a rapid increase in heart rate and body temperature (hyperthermia), abnormally fast breathing, muscle rigidity, breakdown of muscle fibers (rhabdomyolysis), and increased acid levels in the blood and other tissues (acidosis). Without prompt treatment and cessation of the drugs, the body's reaction can cause multiple organs to be unable to function, including the heart (cardiac arrest) and kidneys (renal failure), and it can cause a blood clotting abnormality called disseminated intravascular coagulation.

People at increased risk of this disorder are said to have malignant hyperthermia susceptibility. Affected individuals may never know they have the condition unless they have a severe reaction to anesthesia during a surgical procedure or they undergo testing (for instance, if susceptibility is suspected because a family member had a severe reaction). Malignant hyperthermia may not occur every time anesthesia is used. Many individuals who develop a severe reaction have previously been exposed to a triggering drug and not had a reaction.

Affected individuals may be at increased risk for "awake" malignant hyperthermia, in which the severe reaction occurs in response to physical activity, often while sick, rather than in reaction to exposure to a triggering drug."_

The scariest part to me is that you may not even know you have this condition, successfully complete a surgery, and then later you die from the reaction. This fact did not help my anesthesia and surgery fears!

bionicjoey,

I’ve been told I’m at risk for it. They can’t be sure if I have it or not, but I might and therefore any time I need to be anesthetized, they have to take the appropriate precautions.

minnieo,
minnieo avatar

thank goodness you're aware of it so you can take precautionary measures. stay safe friend

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