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Anaesthesist. 2017 Oct;66(10):773-781. doi: 10.1007/s00101-017-0335-z. Epub 2017 Jun 28.

[Stocks of dantrolene in anesthesia and intensive care units in Germany : Nationwide online survey with 1673 participants].

[Article in German]

Author information

Stabsstelle Katastrophenschutz, Universitätsklinikum Ulm, Albert-Einstein-Allee 29, 89081, Ulm, Deutschland.
Abteilung Neuroanästhesie, Universität Ulm im Bezirkskrankenhaus Günzburg, Günzburg, Deutschland.
Klinik für Anästhesiologie und Intensivmedizin, Medizinische Hochschule Hannover, Hannover, Deutschland.
Abteilung Neuroanästhesie, Universität Ulm im Bezirkskrankenhaus Günzburg, Günzburg, Deutschland.



A malignant hyperthermia (MH) crisis is a potentially fatal complication in anesthesia and intensive care units (ICU). Rapid administration and adequate dosage of dantrolene is the only known effective pharmacological and causal treatment of an MH crisis. International anesthesiology societies recommend an initial dose of 2.0-2.5 mg/kg body weight (BW). The necessary total dosage should be titrated up to 10 mg/kg BW depending on the effectiveness.


The goal of this study was an analysis of the stocking situation of dantrolene in Germany. A national survey was conducted amongst members of the German Society of Anaesthesia and Intensive Care (DGAI).


A questionnaire consisting of 19 items was posted online to all DGAI members from 2 September to 30 September 2015. The questionnaire dealt with characterization of the participants, the administration of triggering substances in the operating room and in the ICU of the respective hospitals. The main part covered the amount of stocked dantrolene, the place of storage and emergency availability of stocked dantrolene from elsewhere.


The questionnaire was posted online to 12,415 DGAI members with a response rate of 13.5% (n = 1673). The highest response rate was from 259 directors and heads of anesthesiology units representing 28.3%. In total 93,7% of participants use volatile anesthetics and 82,3% use succinylcholine. In the event of an MH-crisis 40.4% of participants have 36 or more vials of dantrolene available within 5 min, 27.4% have only 24 vials and 18.7% only have 12 vials. Of the anesthesiologists in outpatient surgery 70.6% have a dantrolene stock of less than 36 vials. In those cases with insufficient dantrolene stock, 35.5% of hospitals have no agreement with neighboring hospitals. In the ICU setting, 51.8% of responding participants indicated the use of volatile anesthetics, but only 25.7% stock dantrolene in the ICU. For succinylcholine, 77.3% stated using the drug in the ICU, and 26.0% have a dantrolene stock in the ICU.


Almost all anesthesiologists participating in the online survey use volatile anesthethics and/or succinylcholine. Whereas almost all participants have access to dantrolene, more than half of the units have a stock of dantolene, which is less than that recommended by the DGAI. In the case of low dantrolene stock, only 61% of anesthesia departments have access to additional dantrolene within a time frame of 15min . The results of this online survey demonstrate that the stock of dantrolene may be insufficient in some German hospitals and anesthesiology practices.


Dantrolene; Malignant hyperthermia; Online survey; Stocking; Volatile anesthetics

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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