Critical care nurses who have an understanding of acute thyrotoxicosis (a life-threatening condition that occurs as a result of excess production and release of the thyroid hormones triiodothyronine and thyroxine) can quickly intervene to improve patients’ outcomes. The author describes thyroid physiology, discusses the clinical manifestations and treatment of acute thyrotoxicosis, and presents a case study of a patient with thyrotoxicosis who was admitted to the critical care unit because of acute congestive heart failure.

Acute thyrotoxicosis is a systemic syndrome that occurs as a result of excess production and release of the thyroid hormones triiodothyronine and thyroxine. The syndrome is characterized by a hypermetabolic state in which the tissues respond to an excess of circulating thyroid hormones by markedly increasing cellular function.11 Under normal circumstances, thyroid hormones control metabolic processes in body tissues by increasing the...

You do not currently have access to this content.