The science of medicine has evolved dramatically over recent years, with better understanding of the mechanisms of disease leading to innovative new treatments. However, the critical care patient still suffers from a high mortality rate with few advances from the traditional modalities of therapy. Arginine vasopressin has been explored as a vasoconstrictor in the treatment of the hypotension associated with septic shock. This drug has also recently been added to the advanced cardiac life support protocol for the resuscitation of pulseless ventricular tachycardia and ventricular fibrillation. Studies of arginine vasopressin in these situations have been promising but still have yet to prove a survival benefit over traditional therapies. Newer and larger trials are necessary to determine whether any mortality benefit can be sustained from the use of arginine vasopressin in critical care patients with septic shock and cardiac arrest secondary to pulseless ventricular tachycardia and ventricular fibrillation.