In reviews of the cause of death from goiter, thyroid crisis generally accounts for more than half of the mortality.1 At the University Hospital from 1925 through 1933, 70 per cent, or eighty-eight, of the 123 deaths from goiter were due to this cause. Fifty-one of these eighty-eight occurred in the medical service,2 before the patient could be improved to a point at which an operation might be considered, and thirty-seven occurred postoperatively.3 The same greater frequency of preoperative deaths from crisis was reported by Lahey4 in 1928.
Our interest in thyroid crisis was aroused because of the apparent futility of treatment once this complication becomes well established. This particular ineffectiveness has been recognized for years, and emphasis has properly been placed on elimination of the factors known to precipitate a crisis and on the adequate use of measures to ward off or lessen an impending
MADDOCK WG, PEDERSEN S, COLLER FA. STUDIES OF THE BLOOD CHEMISTRY IN THYROID CRISIS. JAMA. 1937;109(26):2130-2135. doi:10.1001/jama.1937.02780520020005