Why write a book on the management of critically ill patients? Over the past few decades we have seen an enormous growth in the number of intensive care units (ICU) across the world. Indeed, it is estimated that a large proportion of health care expenses are devoted to patients in these specialized units. Medical students, r- idents, fellows, attending physicians, critical care nurses, pharmacists, respiratory therapists, and other health-care providers (irrespective of their ultimate ?eld of pr- tice) will spend several months or years of their professional lives taking care of critically ill or severely injured patients. These clinicians must have special tra- ing, experience, and competence in managing complex problems in their patients. Moreover, these clinicians must interpret data obtained by many kinds of monitoring devices, and they must integrate this information with their knowledge of the pat- physiology of disease. Even more important is the fact that anyone working in an ICU or with a critically ill patient must approach patients with a multidisciplinary team. The phrase there is no I in TEAM comes to mind.