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Endocrine emergencies constitute only a small percentage of the emergency workload of general doctors, comprising about 1.5% of all hospital admission in England in 2004–5. Most of these are diabetes related with the remaining conditions totalling a few hundred cases at most. Hence any individual doctor might not have sufficient exposure to be confident in their management. This review discusses the management of diabetic ketoacidosis, hyperosmolar hyperglycaemic state, hypoglycaemia, hypercalcaemia, thyroid storm, myxoedema coma, acute adrenal insufficiency, phaeochromocytoma hypertensive crisis and pituitary apoplexy in the adult population.