The use of activated charcoal filters in malignant hyperthermia

Posted on 14 January 2017 by Markku Ahtiainen

Malignant hyperthermia is a life-threatening reaction to anaesthetic drugs. The term “malignant” hyperthermia arises from the progressive nature of the condition and its ultimate end in death associated with a very high body temperature if the condition is not recognised and treated promptly.

The UKMH registry (UKMHR) was established in March 2015 as a resource centre to help patients and relatives, as well as health professionals and the public, understand more about the condition Malignant Hyperthermia, which is often known simply as ‘MH’.

The UKMHR is owned and managed by the MH Investigation Unit, which is based at St James’s University Hospital and part of the University of Leeds in the UK. It was formed when the British Malignant Hyperthermia Association (BMHA), a charity set up by Alison Winks, closed after 30 years of managing information for patients.

The UKMHR recommend that every department of anaesthesia acquires activated charcoal filters which can be applied to inspiratory and expiratory limbs of the breathing circuit and, when used according to manufacturer’s instructions, will enable the safe use of anaesthetic work stations that have previously been used with MH triggering agents.

Read more about UKMHR and find out how to prepare for a known or suspected MH cases.

Pentland Medical is one of the companies in the UK that sells the MH Filters.  

The emergency management guidelines for of malignant hyperthermia (by the UKMHR).

MH information can also be found on the AAGBI pages.

Barna. British Anaesthetic and Recovery Nurses Association