Thyroid disease, which is actually several different diseases, affects approximately 6% of the population. It may result from either subnormal or excessive levels of thyroid hormones. In this article, we focus on thyroid storm during pregnancy and a condition that leads to excess amounts of thyroid hormone, Graves disease.

Graves disease is the most common form of hyperthyroidism1 and is characterized by 1 or more of the signs and symptoms listed in Table 1. Thyroid storm, a very rare complication of hyperthyroidism, can be fatal if untreated. It is often precipitated by a stressful event or trauma. Critical care nurses must recognize the signs and symptoms of thyroid storm to properly manage this condition and prevent further complications.2 

Thyroid diseases are common in women of childbearing age. In many cases, these diseases are first recognized during pregnancy or in the postpartum period. Some of the normal changes...

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