Language: English


WHO and ESICM release COVID-19 critical care course for nurses and doctors

3 July 2022 | Departmental news

The C19_SPACE course is a resource for health professionals, based on the latest evidence and available in six languages.

The COVID-19 pandemic has continued to highlight the fragility of public health systems globally and has revealed that even robust health systems can be rapidly overwhelmed and compromised by an outbreak.

With support of the European Union early in the COVID-19 pandemic, the European Society of Intensive Care Medicine (ESICM) developed the C19 Skills Preparation Course (C19_SPACE) to orientate and supplement clinical learning for nurses and doctors not regularly or newly engaged in intensive care units (ICUs). C19_SPACE provides the most recent evidence-based information, video lectures and clinical case videos delivered by critical care experts. It is based on WHO normative guidelines ( Health Care Readiness (

In a new collaboration with WHO and ESICM the C19_SPACE interactive programme is now available in English, French, Arabic, Chinese, Spanish, and Russian to ensure the course can reach a wider global health care audience.

Along with multiple hours of training, the course includes a series of downloadable checklists to guide health professionals through decision-making at the patient’s bedside.

WHO and ESICM are working closely to identify and enrol the first participants in the new multilanguage learning platform.


The course consists of 24 hours of training for both nurses and doctors. Enrolled participants can engage in self-paced learning online at home. The course includes:

Video lectures including 8 online modules: 

  • Personal safety, donning and doffing of personal protective equipment (PPE)
  • Introduction to ICU
  • The ICU patient: general aspects and admission sequence
  • Basics of respiratory support
  • Basics of haemodynamic monitoring
  • Sepsis and infections in ICU
  • Other aspects of ICU care
  • Team care

Video clinical cases including:

  • Basics of Respiratory Support
  • Basics of Haemodynamic Monitoring
  • Sepsis and Infection
  • Sedation in the ICU: Applied Clinical Pharmacology

2D virtual reality simulation including:

  • ICU tour (organizational aspects of ICU, ICU care principles: multidisciplinary care team, roles and tasks, ICU care pathway: short- and long-term planning, patient room specifications)
  • Exploration tour
  • Admission sequence of the ICU patient, bundles of care, decision-making pathways
  • Two master cases which reinforce the fundamentals studied during the online component regarding respiratory and haemodynamic monitoring, sepsis and infections, and other important aspects to be considered such as sedation and nutrition in ICU patients.

Master case 1: Deteriorating patient

  • Admission and line-up
  • Daily routine
  • Troubleshooting ventilation
  • Troubleshooting haemodynamically unstable patient

Master case 2: Stabilized patient

  • Daily routine
  • Troubleshooting ventilation

Upon the successful completion of the course participants will obtain a certificate with 24 CME/CE credits

ICU checklists:

A series of translated checklists are available for easy use at local level on the most relevant ICU activities/actions.

  • ABCDEFG: daily checklist
  • Hypoxaemia in the ventilated patient
  • Ventilator troubleshooting: bronchospasm, asthma exacerbation
  • Ventilator troubleshooting: circuit obstruction
  • Ventilator troubleshooting: worsening of ARDS
  • Physiology of prone positioning
  • Management of undifferentiated hypotension
  • Recommendations for sepsis: the 1-hour sepsis bundle



The European Society of Intensive Care Medicine (ESICM) is a leading medical organization in the field of intensive care in Europe, with a global membership reach in more than 120 countries. Founded in 1982 in Geneva, Switzerland, ESICM supports and promotes the advancement of knowledge in intensive care medicine, in particular the promotion of the highest standards of multidisciplinary care of critically ill patients and their families through education, research and professional development.

About WHO

Dedicated to the well-being of all people and guided by science, WHO leads and champions global efforts to give everyone, everywhere an equal chance to live a healthy life. Founded in 1948, WHO is the United Nations agency that connects nations, partners and people to promote health, keep the world safe and serve the vulnerable.

Clinical Management and Operations Unit contact

Vanessa Cramond

John Appiah

ESICM contacts

To access free online English C19_SPACE: COVID-19 Skills Preparation Course - ESICM