The 33rd International Symposium on Intensive Care and Emergency Medicine provides an up-to-date review of the most recent developments in research, therapy, and management of the critically ill. The 2013 symposium is organized by the department of Intensive Care Emergency Medicine of Erasme University Hospital, Université Libre de Bruxelles, in association with the Belgian Society of Intensive Care and Emergency Medicine (SIZ). The meeting attracts more than 5,600 participants from countries worldwide. The conference is in English. For more information, visit www.intensive.org.