Can I be a CRNA with Malignant Hyperthermia?

  1. 0
    Hey all,

    So I really want to be a CRNA - I love anesthesia, I find it extremely interesting, mostly due to the fact that I have an anesthesia related condition. The question is - can I actually be one with this condition? For those of you not familiar with it, with with malignant hyperthermia have an extreme reaction to anesthesia that causes tiny spasms in the muscles. The blood temperature sky rockets very quickly, enough to destroy organs in a short period of time. It takes a team of around 12-20 people to work an MH emergency - so it's a big deal. So if I have this, would there be a restriction in being a CRNA? Could I work with anesthesia if I, myself, could react to it?
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  4. 1
    Jumpin Jodpurs. The triggers for MH include inhaled gases that can and do escape into the air CRNAs breathe. Unless you know you have some particularly mild form ... I think NO
    Latino_RN likes this.
  5. 0
    That's a question for your healthcare provider to answer.
  6. 0
    I too have Malignant Hyperthermia, and it is not a problem. It is a cellular level protein defect and is only a factor when (and not even every time) anesthesia is actually administered to us, and only certain types (potent inhalants, muscle relaxants, and a few others.) You'll be fine as a CRNA so long as the anesthesia is for the patient. I joke, but really, don't worry---you'll be fine!
  7. 0
    Quote from SyberianPuppy
    Hey all,

    So I really want to be a CRNA - I love anesthesia, I find it extremely interesting, mostly due to the fact that I have an anesthesia related condition. The question is - can I actually be one with this condition? For those of you not familiar with it, with with malignant hyperthermia have an extreme reaction to anesthesia that causes tiny spasms in the muscles. The blood temperature sky rockets very quickly, enough to destroy organs in a short period of time. It takes a team of around 12-20 people to work an MH emergency - so it's a big deal. So if I have this, would there be a restriction in being a CRNA? Could I work with anesthesia if I, myself, could react to it?
    I guess it would depend on how your bad MH is. Some people can have an MH episode just by exercising. With the scavenging system and air turnover in the OR you are only exposed to an extremely small volatile anesthetics except when doing inhalation inductions.

    I don't know that any one of us could give you a definite answer on here, but Dr. Sheila Muldoon at USUHS is one of the world's premier researchers on the subject and probably will be able to answer your question. USU Department of Anesthesiology

    She is part of the faculty in the Anesthesiology department at USHUS. You can contact the anesthesiology department through the above link.
  8. 0
    Yikes. Seriously?

    Do you realize that even if you turned off the gases most patients still come out smelling like it?

    I would think it is like playing Russian Roulette.
  9. 0
    Well, you shouldn't be gassing yourself, I'd imagine.
  10. 0
    Unless you plan to test the sevo, I'm sure you'll be fine.
  11. 0
    Quote from wtbcrna
    I guess it would depend on how your bad MH is. Some people can have an MH episode just by exercising. With the scavenging system and air turnover in the OR you are only exposed to an extremely small volatile anesthetics except when doing inhalation inductions.

    I don't know that any one of us could give you a definite answer on here, but Dr. Sheila Muldoon at USUHS is one of the world's premier researchers on the subject and probably will be able to answer your question. USU Department of Anesthesiology

    She is part of the faculty in the Anesthesiology department at USHUS. You can contact the anesthesiology department through the above link.
    Absolutely fascinating question, and this was the only reasonable response so far.

    Simply because of what an anesthetist does and where they are, it seems reasonable to think there would be more of an issue for them than an OR or PACU nurse or anyone else in the OR. There were no scavenging systems years ago when inhalation inductions with halothane were common for kids. Systems are far better now, but there is no such thing as a totally closed system with 100% waste gas scavenging.

    You seem to know a good bit about this condition. Do you actually have it (been through an episode or been tested) or is this based on strong family history? If it's based solely on history, you might want to consider being tested to get a definitive answer.
  12. 0
    There is some potential to exposure to inhalation agents, so it could be risky it seems to me. I guess you can be very diligent and avoid doing cases like peds that require mask inductions. In your clinical training you would need to do the inhalation inductions.


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