Donating Dantrolene: Development and Implementation of a Malignant Hyperthermia Program in a Scarce Resource Setting

AANA J. 2022 Aug;90(4):271-277.


Intravenous dantrolene is the first-line treatment of malignant hyperthermia (MH), however, it is not always accessible in lower-middle income countries (LMICs). Facilities in the United States are in a transition period where dantrolene is being replaced with Ryanodex, therefore, there is an opportunity for excess dantrolene to be utilized in LMICs where neither dantrolene nor Ryanodex exist. Thirty-six vials of recently expired, unused dantrolene were obtained for a hospital in a LMIC and an MH program was developed in conjunction with the Lao Friends Hospital for Children (LFHC) anesthesia providers, LFHC liaison, LFHC leadership team, and an expert in the field of MH. Components of the MH program included developing a facility-specific protocol, treatment guidelines, supply list, and educational tools. A designated MH drawer was also created in preparation for an MH event. By procuring dantrolene and implementing an MH program in a facility where no MH protocol, treatment guidelines, supply list, or educational tools existed, LFHC is better equipped to handle a potentially lethal scenario.

Keywords: global health; health education; lower-middle income country; malignant hyperthermia.

MeSH terms

  • Anesthesia*
  • Child
  • Dantrolene / therapeutic use
  • Humans
  • Malignant Hyperthermia* / drug therapy
  • United States


  • Dantrolene