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Malignant Hyperthermia – Symptoms

January 27, 2021


Signs of malignant hyperthermia include muscle rigidity, blood pressure and heart rate increase, heart arrhythmias, increase in body temperature and high carbon dioxide levels in the blood as well as low oxygen saturation in the blood. These symptoms are obvious signs of malignant hyperthermia. However, malignant hyperthermia also causes severe reactions on the cell level, which can be less obvious and occur in form of an overheating reaction and destruction and breakdown of body cells. Both the overheating of your body and the release of cell components into the bloodstream can cause organ failure, especially liver, heart and kidney failure. Symptoms of malignant hyperthermia can vary from only slight symptoms to what we call a full blown malignant hyperthermia crisis. Malignant hyperthermia is diagnosed based on the entire clinical picture and does not depend on the presence or absence of any one symptom. When malignant hyperthermia is suspected, your doctor will always have low threshold to treat you for malignant hyperthermia, as it is a potential life threatening condition. If a patient is susceptible to malignant hyperthermia, and receives a triggering anesthetic agent, a patient will very likely have a reaction. However, there are reports of malignant hyperthermia susceptible patients undergoing anesthesia with triggering agents and not experiencing any signs or symptoms of malignant hyperthermia. Only after multiple anesthetics will they suddenly experience symptoms.

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