Guidelines are developed for various reasons, including the emergence of new, potentially practice-changing evidence or a perceived need for guidance in times of uncertainty. The COVID-19 pandemic presents an almost unparalleled example of the latter, prompting the Surviving Sepsis Campaign (SSC) Task Force to rapidly produce Guidelines on the Management of Critically Ill Adults With Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19).1 These guidelines are adapted from the well-known 2016 SSC guidelines,2 and highlights are excerpted in this issue of JAMA.3 In a brief amount of time, the authors have produced an impressively thorough and expansive set of guidelines, organized as more than 50 recommendations under 4 domains. The intended goal is to reduce unwanted practice variation and provide a focused and informed distillation of the existing evidence in a manner that will be practical for, and accessible to, clinicians in a wide variety of settings around the world. Because COVID-19 is a new disease, the SSC Task Force relied on the expert interpretation of available evidence from analogous conditions, such as sepsis, when generating its recommendation. The intent of the guideline committee is to update the guidelines as evidence specific to the care of patients with COVID-19 emerges.
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Corresponding Author: Derek C. Angus, MD, MPH, University of Pittsburgh, 3550 Terrace St, 614 Scaife Hall, Pittsburgh, PA 15261 (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Published Online: March 26, 2020. doi:10.1001/jama.2020.5110
Conflict of Interest Disclosures: Dr Lamontagne reported receiving grants from the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR), Fonds de recherche du Québec-Santé, and the Lotte & John Hecht Foundation, unrelated to this work. Dr Angus participated in the development of Surviving Sepsis Campaign guidelines for sepsis, but had no role in the creation of the current COVID-19 guidelines, nor the decision to create these guidelines.
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