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Addisonian crisis

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Medical Emergency - Addisonian crisis is an emergency that needs sorting to prevent death from shock!

What is it?

An acute episode of adrenal insufficiency. That means the adrenal glands stop producing cortisol. This leads to, amongst other things, you having no blood pressure, and having no blood sugar.

How does it present?

Patients are in shock, or perhaps just bad postural hypotension. May also be hypoglycaemic.

Classically presents in:

  1. Patients with known Addison's disease.
  2. Patients on long term steroids who have forgotten a dose.
  3. Patients who have been in trauma that has knackered the pituitary, and thus stopped the release of ACTH

What do you do?