• Users Online: 1002
  • Print this page
  • Email this page

 Table of Contents  
Year : 2017  |  Volume : 1  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 1-5

Saudi critical care society. A decade; but it is just the beginning!

ICU, Prince Sultan Military Medical City, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia

Date of Web Publication23-Jun-2017

Correspondence Address:
Muhammad Kashif Malik
ICU, Prince Sultan Military Medical City, Riyadh
Saudi Arabia
Login to access the Email id

Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/2543-1854.208927

Rights and Permissions

How to cite this article:
Mandourah Y, Malik MK. Saudi critical care society. A decade; but it is just the beginning!. Saudi Crit Care J 2017;1:1-5

How to cite this URL:
Mandourah Y, Malik MK. Saudi critical care society. A decade; but it is just the beginning!. Saudi Crit Care J [serial online] 2017 [cited 2023 Jun 4];1:1-5. Available from: https://www.sccj-sa.org/text.asp?2017/1/1/1/208927

  Introduction Top

When I look back a decade at the Saudi Critical Care Society (SCCS), I see 10 years of great 1000 people who worked together to push the envelope to take critical care in Saudi Arabia to the modern era and provide their patients the best and right care right now.

At that time, there was nothing called critical care in Saudi Arabia and there was no existence of societies in the form we know in the modern world. Societies as every step toward modern civilization in Saudi Arabia start with an idea and ambitious individuals who come together to start something out of nothing. With limited resources and outnumbered, these dreamers take it in their shoulders and taking the new growing dream to life. SCCS as exceptionally well-accelerated form of Western modern civilization came to light. This has made it very bright star in the darkness of dark ages.

Today, after 10 years of sailing the dream through the waves of challenges to a realty hitting the shores of corporatization and austerity measures to make the use of a limited resources and joining the new world of transformation here cost has to make sense. One asks the question does the SCCS come to an end?

The answer will be summarized below in; it is just the beginning!

  The Beginning Top

The reason it is just the beginning is because whatever we achieved below has only brought us from hallucinations to reality and what we have now is a well-established SCCS in the sense of modern and civilized world definition at its basic forms that is nothing but a vehicle that needs sailors to sail it parallel of its peers of modern world societies.

  The History Top

The history of the professional societies/bodies dates to 19th century. Their aim was to bring together the like-minded people and provide the platform so they could come up with the recommendations for the betterment of the members of the society in particular and the community in general. It is the favorable outcome for everyone. These societies in particular pertaining to the medical profession did a lot in improving the health status of the general public and also look after the interest of the physicians. The role of these societies in the modern era is very crucial. They helped in updating the treatment of common diseases and make consensus on the new emerging medical problems.

With the advent of the critical care as a separate specialty in Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, the need to have a society for the critical care physicians was also felt. It was meant to regulate and guide the development of specialty. This need was well perceived by the pioneers of the specialty and they laid the foundation of the “SCCS” in 2006. The founding members were well known in the field of critical care. The founders and active members of the SCCS were comprised following but not limited to eminent physicians and other health-care workers.

  1. Dr. Abdullah Shimmeri
  2. Dr. Yasser Mandourah
  3. Dr. Amin Yousef
  4. Dr. Yassin Arabi
  5. Dr. Fahad Ba' Faqeeh
  6. Dr. Khalid Maghrabi
  7. Mr. Saad Alharthi
  8. Mr. Balqassim AlSahi
  9. Mr. Anas Amro
  10. Mrs. Eltoma Saleh
  11. Miss. Sozan Alqarni
  12. Mr. Mohammed Suliman.

The vision of SCCS was to promote the specialty and its mission, its development and set the typical critical care model and spread it throughout the kingdom. This was through a 5-year plan and establishing five headquarters (HQs) and training centers over 5 years in a plane called the rule of five. This plan targeted five major cities in the Kingdom and the five multidispensary specialties. Through this plan managed to train 20,000 healthcare workers (HCWs) across ten different cities and established two SCCS-HQ and training centers and established ten regional chapters and 15 operation and subspecialty committees.

These visionaries were clear that the critical care in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia would be patient centered, physician led, and built on the foundation of patient–physician and its family relationships.

  Conferences Top

Local and international conferences

Between 2006 and 2010, the SCCS for care participated scientific conferences in the local, regional, and international levels.

These conferences as follows:

  1. First conference of the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) at King Fahd hospital in Dammam specialization
  2. Third conference of the Pan Arab Society of Critical Care Medicine, Kuwait state of Kuwait
  3. Conference of the dialysis in ICU Hospital Security Force in Riyadh
  4. The conference of the Canadian Society of Critical Care
  5. Conference on Emergency and Critical Care in Brussels, the Kingdom of Belgium
  6. Third conference of the critical care Dubai, United Arab Emirates
  7. Seventh Conference of the collective Arab Critical Care Medicine of the Sharm El Sheikh Egypt.

In 2010, SCCS launched its own and 1st international conference SCCS-2010-Jeddah. This was the largest critical care conference in the Middle East. It was attended by 3000 HCW from different specialties. This was a beginning of a long and large series of SCCS branded critical care conference. In this year, we are running our 8th international conference and 2nd trans-middle east of conducting the same conference in middle eastern countries to cross the science to border.

  Saudi Critical Care Society Website Top

SCCS has been pioneer in a landmark website, gateway, and online training center.

  Membership Top

SCCS has the largest membership in the region reaching 3000 HCWs.

  Saudi Critical Care Society-Headquarters 7 Training Centers Top

SCCS has started in a small room in a military hospital in Riyadh then evolved to a rented HQ in Olaya, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia and ended to 3000 m 2 owned SCCS-HQ in North of Riyadh near its business gate and prominent two universities. SCCS established another training center and HQ in Jeddah and in the process to establish the 3rd HQ in the eastern province.

  Hajj Mission Top

With this vision in mind, they we were assigned to formulate and regulate the entire health care of the Hajj Mission in 2006. The first SCCS board worked very hard to meet the expectations of the Custodian of the two Holy Mosques, King Abdullah. At that time, there was a lack of trained staff in critical care and emergency medicine. There were no guidelines and policies to regulate the Hajj Mission. The situation was sensed and a strategy was placed. More than 1200 staff were trained with the following courses before the start of the Hajj Mission:

  1. Fundamental of critical care support
  2. Rapid response team
  3. Mechanical ventilation course
  4. Critical care nursing.

More than 200 policies and procedures were created and were approved by the competent authority [Figure 1].
Figure 1: Clinical Guidelines and forms

Click here to view

SCCS in collaboration with Saudi Hajj and Umrah Society published a comprehensive handbook on common diseases, clinical scenarios, and their evidence-based management [Figure 2] and [Figure 3]. This brought about a significant change in the quality of health care provided to the guests of Allah. The last prong of the strategy was to establish the database for statistical analysis and to improve the compromised aspect of the Hajj Mission health-care program. This strategic plan eventually bore fruit, which was evident by the statistics.
Figure 2: Co-Morbidities Associated with Hajj ICU Pneumonia

Click here to view
Figure 3: Hajj critical Care

Click here to view

Improving the quality of health-care mission was a jewel in the crown of SCCS.

  Saudi Critical Care Society-H1n1 2011 Top

Saudi Arabia was involved in H1N1 outbreak and it had cases 4119 and death 36 in summer season in compare to Australia: 40,800 cases during winter season. Hajj 2011 was in winter 2011 and SCCS prepared with Ministry of Health (MOH) for this potential health threats [Figure 4].{Figure 4}

The measures taken for H1N1 were:

  • Double back up beds
  • Double-triple certified staff
  • Ten interventional cardiologist
  • One hundred ICU beds in King Abdullah Medical City - Makkah
  • HFO.

Saudi Critical Care Society-Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2014

SCCS was part of the member of Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus (MERS COV) advisory board. During MERS-COV outbreaks the society plans and tactics involved:

  • SCCS-MERS-COV guidelines
  • SCCS three training center for MOH-HCW-staff; Riyadh, Jeddah, and Dammam
  • SCCS trained 5000 MOH-HCW Staff in the five major skill courses
  • This has brought down extracorporeal membrane oxygenation-MERS-COV MR from 90% to 30%.

Fellowship Program SCFHS-ACCFP

The other aspect, in which the SCCS was successful with flying colors, was in developing the specialty of critical care in the kingdom. The immediate need was to develop a fellowship program to train indigenous physicians who are at par with global standards. The curriculum was formulated, extensive training rotations in different specialties were added, elite faculty was gathered, and the first batch of the fellowship program was started in 2008. Since that time, more than 200 trained critical care physicians were added to the specialty who are working in different parts of the Kingdom and serving ailing humanity. This was a tenfold increase in the original number of critical care physicians.

  Critical Care Residency Program SCFHS--SBCCRP Top

Training critical care staff

The next step was to train the existing staff with up-to-date knowledge and skills. This goal could only have been achieved by arranging a robust training program. This program consisted of five mandatory courses, which were:

  1. Fundamental of critical care support
  2. Rapid response team course
  3. Mechanical ventilation course
  4. Basic life support and Advanced Cardiac Life Support
  5. Critical care nursing course (for nurses only).

These courses were arranged regularly in different parts of the country. The aim was to bring the training near to the health-care staff. This scheme was very popular in attracting the critical care staff. From 2006 to 2009, more than 10,000 critical care staff were trained in these courses all over the Kingdom. This is another reflection of improving standards of health care in the country.

  Advisory Board Top

The SCCS was asked by the Health Ministry on many occasions to provide an advisory role in situ ations such as H1N1 and MERS-CoV outbreaks. Society led a team of eminent experts in the critical care medicine and created the recommendations for the Health Ministry. These guidelines were helpful in controlling, containing, and managing these deadly outbreaks [Figure 5].
Figure 5: Critical Care Society Research Outcomes

Click here to view

  Central Board of Accreditation of Health-Care Institution Top

Whenever the nation needs an expert opinion from the critical care community, SCCS always lends a helping hand. While the Health Ministry was establishing a Saudi Central Board for Accreditation of Healthcare Institutions to regulate and overlook the health-care institutions in the country, SCCS took the lead role and provided the committee with the expert panel to formulate the guidelines about the requirements of initiating and running a critical care unit in hospitals.

  Conferences Top

One of the distinguished achievements of the SCCS is collaborating with the other professional bodies and arranging joint ventures in the form of annual conferences. The aim was to bring the leading scholars, both national and international, in the field of critical care to the kingdom so that a large number of HCWs can benefit from it. These conferences are held in partnership with the health-care industry, in which they showcase their latest equipment to the critical care physicians and other staff. They do not only provide access to the latest research but also provide opportunities for collaborating and networking with well-reputed international health-care institutions. The conference on the credit of SCCS was following:

  1. SCCS-Jeddah-2010 with 2500 attendees' numbers
  2. SCCS-Riyadh-2011 with 3000 attendees' numbers
  3. SCCS-Dammam-2012 with 2500 attendees' numbers
  4. SCCS-ESICM-Riyadh-2013 with 2500 attendees' numbers
  5. SCCS-SCCM-Riyadh-2014 with 3000 attendees' numbers
  6. SCCS-MEGA-Riyadh-2015 with 3000 attendees' numbers
  7. SCCS-MCCA-Riyadh-AMMAN-TME-2016 with 3500 attendees' numbers between two sites.

  Research Top

Research has an integral role in the development of the specialty. SCCS was well aware of this universal truth and allocated a significant portion of its resources to “research and development” and has conducted numerous research projects in a variety of fields in critical care medicine. It was not limited to the national arena but also collaborated with many famous international multicentered research groups.

  Assets Top

This decade-long journey started from a small shared room in Prince Sultan Military Medical City, then to a rented building and finally reached to a self-owned 2000 sq. m, multistory building HQ. It has all the facilities to hold courses, seminars, and training workshops for the critical care staff.

  Conclusion Top

As we introduced our article, the past decade of an amazing journey with SCCS has brought us to the beginning of modern societies. We must work together harder to take this enterprise to the modern era of critical care civilization. We are yet to work in a team and structured institutional work rather in individual sole efforts. We are also need to keep the leadership of the largest critical care conference in the Middle East, and we need to continue our educational role. This will need teamwork and peer efforts that would not succeed without sustainability in endurance.


  [Figure 1], [Figure 2], [Figure 3], [Figure 1], [Figure 5]


Similar in PUBMED
   Search Pubmed for
   Search in Google Scholar for
Access Statistics
Email Alert *
Add to My List *
* Registration required (free)

  In this article
The Beginning
The History
Saudi Critical C...
Saudi Critical C...
Hajj Mission
Saudi Critical C...
Advisory Board
Central Board of...
Critical Care Re...
Article Figures

 Article Access Statistics
    PDF Downloaded313    
    Comments [Add]    

Recommend this journal