Antimicrobial resistance (AMR) is a clear and present danger to patients in any intensive care unit (ICU) around the world. Whereas AMR may affect any patient in the hospital, patients in the ICU are particularly at risk of acquiring AMR infections due to the intensity of the treatment, use of invasive devices, increased risk of transmission and exposure to antibiotics. AMR is present in every ICU, although prevalence is geographically different and AMR pathogens encountered are variable. Intensive care and infectious disease specialists from the European Society of Intensive Care Medicine, European Society of Microbiology and Infectious Diseases and World Alliance Against Antimicrobial Resistance, united in the ANTARCTICA (Antimicrobial Resistance in Critical Care) coalition, call for increased awareness and action among health care professionals to reduce AMR development in critically ill patients, to improve treatment of AMR infections and to coordinate scientific research in this high-risk patient population. Close collaboration with other specialties, and combining these and other interventions in antibiotic stewardship programmes should be a priority in every ICU. Considerate antibiotic use and adopting strict infection control practices to halt AMR remains a responsibility shared by all healthcare workers, from physicians to maintenance personnel, from nurses to physiotherapists, from consultants to medical students. Together, we can reduce AMR in our ICUs and continue to treat our patients effectively.