In 1925, Sir Berkeley Moynihan stated that "acute pancreatitis is the most terrible of all the calamities that occur in connection with the abdominal viscera." The case of M.H. clearly reflects the accuracy of that statement. It should be pointed out that through the exceptional, dedicated care provided by all members of the health care team, a young woman whose predicted mortality approached 100 percent was restored to her previous state of good health, and has since delivered a healthy baby girl by cesarean section. This illustrates that the nurse who possesses a sound understanding of the complications of acute pancreatitis and the pathophysiologic processes responsible, can integrate this knowledge into the management of the patient and improve the quality of care.