Nursing and Rare Disorder Groups Partner to Save Lives

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Newswise — The Association of PeriOperative Registered Nurses (AORN) has partnered with the Malignant Hyperthermia Association of the United States (MHAUS) to offer MHAUS membership benefits to active AORN members for a reduced rate.

“This partnership will assure perioperative nurses that they’ll have prompt access to the latest research and practice guidelines for the prevention of malignant hyperthermia,” said Linda Groah, MSN, RN, CNOR, NEA-BC, FAAN, Executive Director/CEO of AORN. “They are in the operating room at the bedside for every surgical procedure patient and can be among the first member of the team to identify signs of malignant hyperthermia. MHAUS is an important resource for all of us.”

“Over many years, the cooperative efforts and mutual respect between our organizations has continued to grow. The addition of Ms. Bonnie Denholm, MS, BSN, RN, CNOR Perioperative Nursing Specialist at AORN to active participation as a member of the MHAUS Board of Directors, maintains the evolution. We jointly decided a partner membership option will allow us to combine our separate dedicated members into a larger, focused group to take positive and impactful action in the coming years. The ongoing job of AORN and MHAUS leadership will then be to implement products and programs deemed important in order to save patients’ lives,” said Dianne Daugherty, MHAUS Executive Director.

AORN Members can learn more by going to www.mhaus.org and clicking Membership.

What is Malignant Hyperthermia
Malignant Hyperthermia (MH) is inherited genetic disorder found in an estimated 1 out of 2,000 people and triggered by certain anesthetics and/or the drug succinylcholine and most often experienced in individuals undergoing routine surgery but in rare cases MH can happen without anesthesia. The disorder is due to abnormally increased levels of cell calcium in the skeletal muscle. Symptoms include body temperature of up to 107 degrees, muscle rigidity, system-wide organ failure, and possible death.

There is mounting evidence that some patients will also develop MH with exercise and/or on exposure to hot environments. Without proper and prompt treatment with dantrolene sodium, mortality is extremely high.

About the Malignant Hyperthermia Association of the United States (MHAUS)
MHAUS was founded by families who lost their children to MH or could not find information about MH. In 1981 they found each other - and a doctor performing MH testing – and agreed “to make current information about MH available to all who need it!”

Since 1981 MHAUS has asked fostered the following: the World Health Organization (WHO) to add MH to its list of recognized diseases and disorders. In 1983 the first MHAUS healthcare professional and patient teaching conference. In 1992 the FDA ordered pharmaceutical companies that manufacture succinylcholine to change the package insert to indicate that the drug should not be used routinely in children. In 1995 the MH 24-hour Hotline was formalized and MHAUS merged with the North American MH Registry, which had been established in 1987. In 1997 the MHAUS website was formed along with the Neuroleptic Malignant Information Service of MHAUS. In 1998 the MH ID Tag program was created. In 2000 the MH Procedure Manual was created for ambulatory surgery centers, hospitals, and office based surgery suites. In 2001 the MH Patient Liaison Committee was formed. In 2003 a new mutation in ryanodine receptor gene was discovered and appears to be causal for MH. More at: www.mhaus.org.

Today MHAUS provides information and resources to medical and lay communities through conferences, educational materials, ID tags, 24-hour MH Hotline, MHAUS website, and with the help of MH Groups.

The mission of Malignant Hyperthermia Association of the United States is to promote optimum care and scientific understanding of MH and related disorders. MH episodes can happen at any time and MHAUS will always be ready to provide assistance when you need it. But the best way protect your family and patients is to be prepared before it’s too late. Get Involved with MHAUS today to find out what you can do to make a difference.

About AORN
AORN is a non-profit membership association based in Denver, Colorado that represents the interests of more than 160,000 perioperative nurses by providing nursing education, standards, and clinical practice resources—including the peer-reviewed, monthly publication AORN Journal—to enable optimal outcomes for patients undergoing operative and other invasive procedures. AORN’s 42,000 registered nurse members manage, teach, and practice perioperative nursing, are enrolled in nursing education, or are engaged in perioperative research. We define and advance best nursing practices for surgical patients by researching and distributing scientifically based recommendations.

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