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An international panel led by Dr. Waleed Alhazzani, a critical care physician-researcher at St. Joseph’s Healthcare Hamilton, has released new guidelines on the management of critically ill adults with severe Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19). The novel SARS-CoV-2 is the cause of a rapidly spreading illness affecting thousands of people around the world.

The guidelines can be accessed freely on the Society of Critical Care Medicine website. They cover topics dealing with severely ill patients, including infection control, laboratory diagnosis and specimens, hemodynamic support, ventilatory support, and COVID-19 therapy.

The Surviving Sepsis Campaign COVID-19 panel consists of 36 experts who have identified and assessed the certainty in the evidence from the current literature on the novel coronavirus using the GRADE approach. GRADE is a global standard for determining the certainty of evidence, first developed by researchers at McMaster University.

The panel consisted of several McMaster University researchers, including Dr. Waleed Alhazzani as lead author, Dr. Mark Loeb, Dr. Paul E. Alexander, Dr. Emilie Belley-Côté, and Dr. Bandar Baw. The McMaster team was supported by researchers from around the world, including Canada, the United States, the United Kingdom, Scandinavia, Saudi Arabia, Netherlands, China, Italy, South Korea, United Arab Emirates, and Australia.

Dr. Waleed Alhazzani speaking at the 2018 Children Surviving Sepsis panel held in Hamilton.

Dr. Alhazzani and Dr. Belley-Côté are the co-chairs of the Guidelines in Intensive Care, Development, and Evaluation (GUIDE) Group at St. Joe’s, which aims to advance the development of clinical practice guidelines in critical care medicine. Learn more about the GUIDE Group at

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