Thyroid Storm

  1. General information
    1. Uncontrolled and potentially life-threatening hyperthyroidism caused by sudden and excessive release of thyroid hormone into the bloodstream
    2. Precipitating factors: stress, infection, unprepared thyroid surgery
    3. Now quite rare
  2. Assessment findings
    1. Apprehension, restlessness
    2. Extremely high temperature (up to 106°F [40.7°C]), tachycardia, CHF, respiratory distress, delirium, coma
  3. Nursing interventions (see also Care of the Patient with Hyperthermia)
    1. Maintain a patent airway and adequate ventilation; administer oxygen as ordered.
    2. Administer IV therapy as ordered.
    3. Administer medications as ordered: antithyroid drugs, corticosteroids, sedatives, cardiac drugs.

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