If You are MH Susceptible

Frequently Asked Questions

Should I wear any kind of identification bracelet?

Yes. If you are MH-susceptible it is strongly advised that you wear an identification bracelet at all times so that any health care professional will be alerted to your condition.

Identification bracelets are available through the Malignant Hyperthermia Association of the United States (MHAUS).

Do I need to take any medications, follow a special diet or change my lifestyle?

No. If you are MH-susceptible you don't require any form of medication, diet or particular precautions for your daily life. However, if you are undergoing any type of surgical or dental procedure requiring the use of anesthetics, certain precautions need to be taken by your health care provider to avoid complications. Therefore, it is most important to inform your health care provider about your MH-susceptibility.

Can I donate blood with this condition?

Yes. MH-susceptibility is not blood borne and cannot be transmitted through blood or blood products.

What if I need (dental) surgery in the future?

If a person is MH-susceptible, multiple forms of anesthesia can be given safely as long as triggering agents are strictly avoided. It is very important to tell your physician about your condition and also wear an identification bracelet.

Worldwide, no patient with previously known susceptibility has ever died from a MH-crisis when all precautions were used and triggering agents were avoided.

Will I pass this condition on to my children?

If a person is MH-susceptible, all of his or her children have a 50% chance of inheriting this condition. Therefore muscle biopsy testing is advised in all children of a parent known to be MH-susceptible.

Can Malignant Hyperthermia (MH) be dangerous in my pregnancy?

If a woman is MH-susceptible she can safely become pregnant since this condition will not affect the pregnancy.

The risk of anesthesia complications from MH is the same in pregnant and non-pregnant patients; therefore, the same precautions as in any other MH-susceptible patients must be followed (e.g., in the case of a cesarean section under general anesthesia).

Can I join the U.S. Armed Forces with this condition?

Based on our current knowledge, there is no general answer to this question. We would suggest that patients be tested if they possibly could be MH-susceptible prior to joining the U.S. Armed Forces (e.g., offspring of a MH-susceptible parent).

If a person has been tested as MH-susceptible, this should then be discussed individually with the appropriate U.S. Armed Forces recruiting staff.

Can I safely travel with this condition?

In general, travel within North America, Western Europe, Australia, New Zealand, and Japan can be considered safe. In the case of an emergency, health care professionals in these countries can be assumed to be aware of MH and its implications and also to be trained and equipped to treat possible complications. Wearing an identification bracelet is strongly recommended.

For other countries, especially developing countries, it is difficult to predict the level of alertness and ability to diagnose and treat MH and its complications. We would therefore strongly suggest that travelers contact either MHAUS or any of the institutions performing muscle biopsies for individualized advice.

Quick Reference

Malignant Hyperthermia

Linda Marion 336-716-4497

lmarion@wakehealth.edu

Department of Anesthesiology
Wake Forest School of Medicine
100 Medical Center Blvd.
Winston-Salem, NC 27157
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Last Updated: 11-08-2013
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Disclaimer: The information on this website is for general informational purposes only and SHOULD NOT be relied upon as a substitute for sound professional medical advice, evaluation or care from your physician or other qualified health care provider.