Mechanical ventilation is an essential, life-sustaining therapy for many critically ill patients. As technology has evolved, clinicians have been presented with an increasing number of ventilator options as well as an ever-expanding and confusing list of terms, abbreviations, and acronyms. Unfortunately, this has made it extremely difficult for students and physicians at all levels of training to truly understand mechanical ventilation and to optimally manage patients with respiratory failure. This volume of the Pittsburgh Critical Care Medicine Series was written to address this problem. This handbook provides students, residents, fellows, and practicing physicians with a clear explanation of essential pulmonary and cardiovascular physiology, terms and acronyms, and ventilator modes and breath types. It describes how mechanical ventilators work and explains clearly and concisely how to write ventilator orders, how to manage patients with many different causes of respiratory failure, how to “wean” patients from the ventilator, and much more. Mechanical Ventilation is meant to be carried and used at the bedside and to allow everyone who cares for critically ill patients to master this essential therapy.