This book has been written for use by health professionals, typically physicians, nurses, and pharmacists, who have a constant relationship with intravascular infusions. It is intended to provide information where appropriate and guidance when possible for the safe and effective use of parenteral fluids. For several years medical practitioners viewed 'i.v. fluids' rather casu ally. In as much as the solutions themselves seemed innocuous, these medications did not enjoy the respect given to more potent pharmaceuti cals. Intravenous fluid systems were commodities; purchase and use decisions for whole hospitals were placed in the domain of business office personnel. Any tendency toward cessation of 'in hospital manufacture' of solutions was driven by the adverse economics of costly equipment replacement rather than a desire to improve the quality of the product being administered to the patient. An event in 1971 which changed this environment involved an epidemic of patient infections which were related to a specific solution system. Almost immediately there was an enhanced involvement of health care people who assumed responsibility for i.v. fluids and their use. This intensity of interest has not diminished. A few years ago publication of this book would not have been possible because there was no audience for it. No one was interested. Now there are many people who want to know and want to become involved. It is my hope those who read this book will not be disappointed.