Volume 31, Issue 2 (April 1986)
Hemolysis and Hyperkalemia Complicate Malignant Hyperpyrexia During Anesthetic Death
A healthy, 15-year-old male received a thiopental, nitrous oxide, oxygen, enflurane anesthetic for appendectomy. Cardiac arrest, following succinylcholine administration, was associated with marked hyperkalemia (potassium levels 8.7 to 11.6 meq), hemolysis (hematocrit fall from 41.7 to 26.6%, plasma hemoglobin 27 mg/dL), and creatine phosphokinase (CPK) elevation (8900 units). Vigorous resuscitative therapy including dantrolene was unsuccessful.
The diagnosis of malignant hyperthermia was made by the marked CPK elevation on blood samples drawn during resuscitation and analyzed by the Medical Examiner's Office.