The 20th assembly took place on June 27th 2015 at the Hotel Kreuz in Berne.
The founding member Mierta Huonder welcomed the guests of honour Dr. Bernhardt and Prof. Dr. Gerber. Dr. Bernhardt was a pioneer in research and raising awareness on MH in Switzerland and Prof. Gerber was a founding member of the MH laboratory in Basel.
The SMHA celebrated its 20-year anniversary, which is rated as a success. However, a few questions arose: Is a non-profit organisation the best form to provide information on MH in Switzerland, although MH has become less of a problem due to todays knowledge and increased monitoring during anaesthesia.
According to our byelaws, reelections of the committee and accounting auditors were due this year. The current members of the committee Bruno Kolb, Doris Baumann, Kathrin Censier, Mierta Huonder, Gabriela Rubeli, Alois Riner und Franziska Balmer, along with the president Matthias Rubeli and the two accounting auditors Elmar Deflorin und Rico Wyss were reelected. Bruno Kolb and Gabriela Rubeli would like to be part of the committee for one more year and then step back.
The webmaster presented a new emergency App “Echo 112” for smartphones. The app can be downloaded for free from AppStore and Play Store. It contains a digital medical ID with information on allergies, blood type, medication or MH susceptibility. If a person is admitted to a hospital, the emergency staff can read out this data, even if the phone is locked if. The only requirement is that the hospital is equipped with state of the art technique, which is for most hospitals the case in Switzerland.
The president informed the participants that the committee is evaluating ways to better include French speaking members of our organisation. The thought of forming local groups was discussed, yet dismissed as finding the necessary people is an issue. Kathrin Censier suggested to inquire by mail on the needs of the French speaking members.
Prof. Dr. Urwyler gave an interesting talk entitled “Retrospect, Current Status and Future”. He elaborated on the history of anaesthesia, on the current status of research in terms of malignant hyperthermia and on future developments. Although no patient died because of MH in the last 10 years in Switzerland, the association should remain active. Apparently, many hospital economists question the expensive stock of Dantrolen due to financial cutbacks. Furthermore, in the USA more and more procedures are performed in smaller clinics which are less well equipped compared to hospitals. According to Prof. Dr. Urwlyer, the SMHA is an important instrument to counteract on these tendencies and fight for the interests of people susceptible to MH.