Nurse Anesthetists and Rare Disorder Group Partner to Save Lives

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Newswise — The American Association of Nurse Anesthetists (AANA) has partnered with the Malignant Hyperthermia Association of the United States (MHAUS) to offer MHAUS membership benefits at a reduced rate to Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists who are active members of the AANA.

“For many years, the AANA has supported and upheld the mission of MHAUS, which is to ensure that our patients remain safe from the nightmare of malignant hyperthermia (MH) through MH preparedness plans,” said Wanda Wilson, CRNA, PhD, Executive Director and CEO of the AANA. “The AANA is extremely pleased to be partnering with MHAUS for the benefit of our members and the patients they serve.”

“The AANA and MHAUS jointly decided that this partnership will allow us to combine our individual dedicated members into a larger, more focused group with the ability to yield positive and impactful action to detect and prevent MH in the coming years,” said Dianne Daugherty, MHAUS Executive Director. “The mutual respect and cooperation between our organizations is enhanced further through feedback on decisions made within the MHAUS Board from Debra Merritt, CRNA, MSN, AANA liaison to the MHAUS Board of Directors. This ongoing communication between AANA and MHAUS leadership will then be used to implement products and programs designed to save patients’ lives.”

AANA members can learn more by going to www.mhaus.org and clicking Membership.

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

There is mounting evidence that some patients develop MH through exercise and/or 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 AANA
Founded in 1931 and located in Park Ridge, Ill., the AANA is the professional organization for more than 47,000 nurse anesthetists. As advanced practice registered nurses, CRNAs administer more than 34 million anesthetics in the United States each year. CRNAs practice in every setting where anesthesia is available and are the primary providers of anesthesia care in rural America. They administer every type of anesthetic, and provide care for every type of surgery or procedure, from open heart to cataract to pain management.


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