The Saudi Critical Care Society practice guidelines on the management of COVID-19 in the ICU: Therapy section

J Infect Public Health. 2022 Jan;15(1):142-151. doi: 10.1016/j.jiph.2021.10.005. Epub 2021 Oct 20.


Background: The rapid increase in coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) cases during the subsequent waves in Saudi Arabia and other countries prompted the Saudi Critical Care Society (SCCS) to put together a panel of experts to issue evidence-based recommendations for the management of COVID-19 in the intensive care unit (ICU).

Methods: The SCCS COVID-19 panel included 51 experts with expertise in critical care, respirology, infectious disease, epidemiology, emergency medicine, clinical pharmacy, nursing, respiratory therapy, methodology, and health policy. All members completed an electronic conflict of interest disclosure form. The panel addressed 9 questions that are related to the therapy of COVID-19 in the ICU. We identified relevant systematic reviews and clinical trials, then used the Grading of Recommendations, Assessment, Development and Evaluation (GRADE) approach as well as the evidence-to-decision framework (EtD) to assess the quality of evidence and generate recommendations.

Results: The SCCS COVID-19 panel issued 12 recommendations on pharmacotherapeutic interventions (immunomodulators, antiviral agents, and anticoagulants) for severe and critical COVID-19, of which 3 were strong recommendations and 9 were weak recommendations.

Conclusion: The SCCS COVID-19 panel used the GRADE approach to formulate recommendations on therapy for COVID-19 in the ICU. The EtD framework allows adaptation of these recommendations in different contexts. The SCCS guideline committee will update recommendations as new evidence becomes available.

Keywords: COVID-19; Intensive care unit; Practice guideline; Therapy.

MeSH terms

  • COVID-19*
  • Critical Care
  • Humans
  • Intensive Care Units
  • SARS-CoV-2
  • Saudi Arabia