Emergency physicians working on a patient.

What we offer

The University of Manitoba offers a two-year subspecialty residency (ICU Fellowship) in adult Critical Care Medicine. This program is approved by the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada.

  • Resident ICU rotations

    Residents from the University of Manitoba primary specialty programs should go through their own departments to arrange ICU rotations. Current residents can learn more about ICU rotations by reviewing the ICU Rotating Residents handbook and ICU care bundle documents available in Entrada.

    Residents from elsewhere should contact program administrator Kathy Nowak at 204-480-1326 or knowak@hsc.mb.ca.

  • Medical student elective rotations

    University of Manitoba medical students interested in doing an ICU rotation must do so via the OPAL Master Catalogue of courses. The course is Internal Medicine. The discipline is Internal Medicine ICU/Critical Care and the subspecialty is ICU/Critical Care.

    Medical students from elsewhere interested in doing an ICU rotation must go through the AFMC Student Portal. Once there, for Host Institution click on the dropdown list under University of Manitoba Max Rady College of Medicine, and in the search box put ICU/Critical Care. Then click on the item that appears at the bottom of the page.


Conducting original research is a mandate of the Section of Critical Care Medicine. Despite its large clinical footprint resulting from staffing six ICUs, many of our faculty are active researchers. Types of investigator-initiated research in the section include: randomized clinical trials, animal physiology, pharmacology, translational studies, molecular biology, epidemiology, short-term outcomes, long-term outcomes, surveys, and systematic reviews.

The Manitoba ICU Clinical Database

A particular strength of research in the Section is possession of a singular resource, the Winnipeg Combined ICU Database.

This powerful tool links two data sets:

  1. a clinical ICU database containing detailed information about every adult ICU admission, and
  2. the provincial administrative database held at the Manitoba Centre for Health Policy, which contains comprehensive, linked information about all provincial residents, including vital status, all hospitalizations, outpatient visits, prescription pharmaceuticals, home care, use of chronic care facilities, and over 100 other datasets.

The provincial data dates back to 1973. The clinical ICU database originated in 1988, and since 1998 it has included detailed clinical information about all adult ICU admissions in Winnipeg. This resource enables a broad range of studies of ICU epidemiology and outcomes that are possible in few places around the world.

Real-time ICU Data Repository Initiative

MindSet: the Manitoba Integrative Data Platform

The conduct of ICU research trials is typically constrained by the difficulty and expense of collecting data expressly for the purpose of the study. Recent, standard, investigator-driven efficacy RCTs done by the Canadian Critical Care Trials Group have cost in the range of $3-7 million, and industry-driven Phase 3 drug trials in sepsis cost tens of millions of dollars, or more.

There is an increasing recognition that many RCTs can be done primarily using routinely collected medical data. Such studies can be much easier and less expensive to perform. These mandate the ability to acquire these data elements in real-time (or near real-time), but patients' medical records (whether paper or electronic) typically take weeks or longer to become complete after hospital discharge. Thus, to gain the benefits of such trials, it is necessary to have a real-time data repository where the data of all types (clinical laboratory, radiology, electronic medical record, etc) are automatically deposited, cleaned and maintained.

Towards this, Dr. Ryan Zarychanski is the nominated Principal Investigator for over $6 million in funding – from combination of the Canadian Institutes for Health Research, the Province of Manitoba, The University of Manitoba, CancerCare Manitoba and others – to develop such a data repository in the province. Once complete, this resource will greatly facilitate conducting a wide range of human clinical studies relating – but not limited to – critical illness.

ICU Clinical Trials

Our clinical trials program recruits patients at the Winnipeg Health Sciences Centre, St. Boniface Hospital, and Grace General Hospital.


Study name Local principal investigator(s) Funder
REMAP-CAP (PANDEMIC): Randomized, Embedded, Multifactorial Adaptive Platform trial for Community-Acquired Pneumonia Zarychanski, Vazquez-Grande CIHR
SPRINT-SARI / ISARIC: Short Period Incidence study of Severe Acute Respiratory Infection Zarychanski CIHR
CANCOV: The Canadian COVID-19 Prospective Cohort Study Olafson CIHR
NOVATION-1: Randomized, Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled, Phase III Study to Evaluate the Safety and Efficacy of Aerosolized Novaferon + SOC vs. Placebo+SOC in Hospitalized Adult Patients with Moderate to Severe COVID-19 Vazquez-Grande Genova Inc.


Study name Local principal investigator(s) Funder
HEMOTION: HEMOglobin transfusion threshold in Traumatic brain Injury OptimizatioN Zarychanski CIHR
SAHaRA: Aneurysmal Subarachnoid Hemorrhage, Red Blood Cell Transfusion and Outcome (SAHaRA): RCT Zarychanski CIHR
BALANCE: Bacteremia Antibiotic Length Actually Needed for Clinical Effectiveness: Randomized Controlled Trial Kumar CIHR
REMAP-CAP (CORE): Randomized, Embedded, Multifactorial Adaptive Platform trial for Community-Acquired Pneumonia Zarychanski, Vazquez-Grande CIHR
PLEXSIS: Therapeutic Plasma Exchange in Septic Shock: A Pilot Study Rimmer, Zarychanski CIHR
REVISE: Re-EValuating the Inhibition of Stress Erosions and prophylaxis against gastrointestinal bleeding in the critically ill trial Zarychanski, Vazquez-Grande CIHR
FISSH: Fluids in Septic Shock Randomized Control Trial - A multicentre concealed-allocation parallel group blinded randomized controlled trial to examine the effect of Ringer’s Lactate as compared to 0.9% normal saline on mortality in patients with septic shock Zarychanski CIHR
NeurO2: Sub study for Hemotion and SAHaRA Zarychanski CIHR
MiMICSS: Micorvascular Monitorin in Circulatory Shock & Sepsis: Longitudinal Observational Cohort Study Mendelson Dept Medicine
CliCK: Control of Line Complications with KiteLock in the ICU Vazquez-Grande Fraser Health
ESSOS: EPH Septic Shock Observational Study Vazquez-Grande Endpoint Research


Study name Local principal investigator(s) Funder
CATCO: A Multi-centre, Adaptive, Randomized, Open-label, Controlled Clinical Trial of the Safety and Efficacy of Investigational Therapeutics for the Treatment of COVID-19 in Hospitalized Patients [in conjunction with the Public health emergency SOLIDARITY trial (World Health Organization)] Keynan (ID) CIHR
NOVATION-1: Randomized, Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled, Phase III Study to Evaluate Safety and Efficacy of Aerosolized Novaferon+SOC vs. Placebo+SOC in Hospitalized Adult Patients with Moderate to Severe COVID-19 Vazquez-Grande Genova Inc.
VVIRTUOSO: Venous Thrombosis Virtual Surveillance in COVID Zarychanski CIHR
CANCOV: The Canadian COVID-19 Prospective Cohort Study Olafson CIHR

Ward, non-COVID

Study name Local principal investigator(s) Funder
BALANCE: Bacteremia Antibiotic Length Actually Needed for Clinical Effectiveness: RCT Kumar CIHR
SNAP: Staphylococcus aureus Network Adaptive Platform trial Wuerz (ID) CIHR
ATTACC-CAP: Anti-Thrombotic Therapy to Ameliorate Clinical Complications in Community Acquired Pneumonia Zarychanski CIHR

Operating room, non-COVID

Study name Local principal investigator(s) Funder
TRACTION: Phase IV trial of Tranexamic acid to reduce transfusion in major non-cardiac surgery Houston (Heme), Zarychanski CIHR

The Canadian Sepsis Network

Sepsis is a major worldwide health problem. The World Health Organization has identified it as an area in need of focused advancement. The Canadian Sepsis Network is a consortium of over 160 investigators and other stakeholders, funded in December 2019 by a $5.7 million dollar, five year grant from the Canadian Institutes for Health Research.

This nationally coordinated effort seeks to advance our understanding of the causes of sepsis, and improving its prevention, detection and management. The primary goal of this funding is to create a national infrastructure, encompassing all aspects of sepsis research, clinical care, and public outreach, that network members can leverage to advance knowledge and practice.

Its goals are to:

  1. Improve the identification of pathogenesis, prevention, detection and management of sepsis in Canada through coordinated national research activities to generate new knowledge, technical and scientific expertise.
  2. Accelerate the iterative, bi-directional translation of evidence into practice for improved patient experience and outcomes through coordinated multi-sectoral, multi-theme, and multi-disciplinary activities and knowledge sharing.
  3. Develop and validate interventions that change significant aspects of practice; evaluate outcomes of implementation of interventions; and, accelerate the translation of research discoveries, and best and wise practices, to bridge gaps between research outcomes and health impact.
  4. Build and promote relevant research capacity, including training and early career development, by providing high-quality, multi-disciplinary training and mentoring through active engagement of established researchers, early career investigators and trainees.

Dr. Allan Garland leads the population health pillar of this effort, the specific aims of which include:

  1. Use complementary approaches to identify cases and determine the population-based incidence of sepsis
  2. Identify and catalogue the scope of existing sepsis knowledge
  3. Create a Metadata Catalogue of all existing relevant Canadian datasets, and within it, generate subsets of harmonized data
  4. Identify societal and healthcare costs associated with sepsis that can be used to inform policy-development and future health economic evaluations

Critical Care Hematology Research Group

The Critical Care Hematology Research Group is comprised of faculty and research trainees from the University of Manitoba. Faculty, including members from Hematology, Critical Care and the George and Fay Yee Centre for Healthcare Innovation, have extensive expertise in research methodology including innovative trial design, and advanced statistical methods.

Research produced by this group includes human clinical trials, epidemiology and other observational studies using existing databases that range from small to very large.

This highly collaborative group has biweekly lab meetings which focus on developing the next generation of researchers. This includes discussions of: (i) progress on ongoing research projects, (ii) development of new projects, and also (iii) career development of clinician-scientists in the broad sense.

This latter prominently includes helping the trainees understand the value of, and create, hypothesis-driven programs of research that will help them on the path to becoming independently-funded researchers who successfully compete for national-level funding.

Our researchers

Learn more about the groundbreaking research being conducted by faculty members in the Section of Critical Care.

Faculty and staff

Contact us

Section of Critical Care Medicine
Room GF419A- Health Sciences Centre
820 Sherbrook Street
University of Manitoba (Bannatyne campus)
Winnipeg, MB R3A 1R9 Canada