Managing ICU Surge During the COVID-19 Crisis: Rapid Guidelines


Given the rapidly changing nature of COVID-19, clinicians and policy makers require urgent review and summary of the literature, and synthesis of evidence-based guidelines to inform practice. The WHO advocates for rapid reviews in these circumstances. The purpose of this rapid guideline is to provide recommendations on the organizational management of intensive care units caring for patients with COVID-19 including: planning a crisis surge response; crisis surge response strategies; triage, supporting families, and staff.

Keywords: COVID-19; Critical care; Guideline; Pandemics; Surge capacity; Triage.

Conflict of interest statement

Dr. Yaseen Arabi is the principal investigator on a clinical trial for lopinavir/ritonavir and interferon in MERS. All other authors declared no conflicts of interest.


Fig. 1 Projected versus observed number of hospitalized patients per day, for Belgium. Model created by Lize Raes and Kareljan Raes, and available on–cLqvRyRHBjYmkkZu6MC0leXev8p/view
Fig. 2 Care team model for extending the capacity of ICU clinicians

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