Delayed Onset of Malignant Hyperthermia in the Intensive Care Unit: A Rare But Life-Threatening Disorder

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Malignant hyperthermia (MH) has been described as a rare inherited autosomal dominant metabolic syndrome triggered in patients after exposure to certain inhalation anesthetics and depolarizing muscle relaxants. Typically MH is seen within the operating room and postanesthesia care environment. This case study will discuss a patient with an atypical MH crisis in the intensive care unit. Pathophysiology, genetic basis of and testing for MH-susceptibility as well as the role of the critical care nurse in the management of this potentially fatal disorder will be discussed.

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