Although thyroid dysfunction will develop in more than 12% of the US population during their lifetimes, true thyroid emergencies are rare. Thyroid storm and myxedema coma are endocrine emergencies resulting from thyroid hormone dysregulation, usually coupled with an acute illness as a precipitant. Careful assessment of risk and rapid action, once danger is identified, are essential for limiting morbidity and mortality related to thyroid storm and myxedema coma. This article reviews which patients are at risk, explains thyroid storm and myxedema coma, and describes pharmacological treatment and supportive cares.
©2013 American Association of Critical-Care Nurses