Patient safety remains a cornerstone of the Malignant Hyperthermia Association of the United States (MHAUS) mission for the past 35 years! Over 40 million anesthetics are given? Whether in a huge hospital in the middle of a large metropolis, an ambulatory surgery center in a city or town, an office-based facility, or a rural facility in our many varied communities; an unexpected MH event can occur! An MH crisis can evolve rapidly or slowly, in the OR, PACU or physician’s office. MHAUS’ MH Hotline is ready to assist 24 hours a day, 365 days a year! The hotline is staffed by over 30 anesthesiologists with special expertise in MH. They serve voluntarily because they believe their advice can save lives. The hotline is free to all who need it; but there is a cost to keep it functioning. The funding of the hotline is mainly derived from donations and contributions. Over 600 calls are handled each year by the hotline. Perhaps you or someone you know has used the hotline and received the calm assurance they provide. Your donation to MHAUS, aside from your personal yearly membership fee, will support this program.
MHAUS remains focused on finding ways to answer the questions our patients, our members, and many clinicians consistently ask us. Here are just a few examples: The Emergency Therapy Protocol Poster for MH is a resource that clearly defines steps to treat and manage an MH crisis. It is presented as an easy to follow algorithm that outlines important treatment steps to help providers increase the likelihood a patient will not only survive the crisis, but also avoid complications of the episode.
The MH Prep Check brings an MH expert directly to a facility to review their MH Plan of Action. They watch an MH Mock Drill and give constructive criticism to improve quality. This direct access to MH experts who answer MH Hotline calls is a premium offered only through MHAUS! Donations help us continue this program’s availability. In 2016 thirteen facilities benefited from conducting an MH Prep Check.
The MH Prep Check program provided our organization with access to the expertise of their MH consultants, including an onsite visit to review our policies and procedures, visit with our anesthesia and nursing leaders, and provide coaching on our MH drills. MHAUS and the MH Prep Check program have been an outstanding resource for our community hospital – and have ultimately resulted in our being much better prepared to treat MH patients throughout our organization. Our clinical leaders continue to use the many MHAUS resources available on their website, including the monthly MH Hot Topics newsletter.
I have been very impressed by the expertise and professionalism of everyone associated with MHAUS. Their interest in simply helping our organization and our patients has been very sincere and refreshing. I would certainly recommend both MHAUS and the MH Prep Check program to any organization wanting to verify and/or improve their MH preparedness.
MHAUS is a patient advocacy organization! We listen to patients to better understand how we can be of assistance. Our Board of Directors contains physicians, nurses, scientists and patients. We listen to healthcare providers for the issues they encounter in care of and communication with patients and their families. When we feel we know what they require, our MH experts develop products and programs to fulfill the need.
One example is the evolution of answers for specific problems encountered by families susceptible to MH. Our experts examine the question, develop advice (vetted in a thorough review process) and then we post them on the MHAUS web site.
Another interesting observation developed over the past decade, is a relationship between MH susceptibility and exercise-induced heat stroke. We have begun to speak with other groups focused on deaths from heat stroke in the sports field. A dialogue with athletic trainers and physicians is evolving to figure out how to identify those who might be at greater risk for exercise-induced rhabdomyolysis, and heat stroke. We are raising awareness about the possible relationship, but further information is needed to clearly define the risks of exercise in hot environments for an MH-susceptible.
Outreach to those who deal with heat related disorders, e.g., ER docs, EMTs, neurologists, is a goal for MHAUS. Our discussions with these experts and our professional advisory council, provides guidance and recommendations in the management of patients suffering from heat stroke. The opportunities to expand our horizons are huge and we hope, with your help, to take advantage of them in the future.
Our understanding of the genetic basis of MH, for diagnosis of MH susceptibility and the connection to other disorders is evolving rapidly. For example, it has now been shown that there are three different genes that can contribute to the development of MH. Our website’s (www.mhaus.org) Facebook and Twitter feeds share results as they are discovered. In addition, we regularly publish articles in the member newsletter, The Communicator, on this topic.
Our main goal of achieving 0 deaths from MH and MH-like disorders is supported by you, manufacturers of dantrolene sodium for injection, individuals, corporations and medical societies. We made tremendous progress toward that goal through our education and outreach services, but are not there yet.We know anesthesia providers and other clinicians depend on us for the most up to date advice. To meet their needs and zero mortality from MH, we need your help! Every dollar counts; you can make a difference!
Please consider making a donation today to sustain MHAUS’ efforts (separate from the minimal membership/renewal fees which grants membership benefits, like 30% off most products). You will find several donation options below - including automatic deductions. The method that best suits your personal preference is totally up to you. Feel free to call us at 607-674-7901 for clarification, if needed.
MHAUS thanks you and we wish you a healthy and happy 2017!