Kusum Menon

Senior Scientist, CHEO Research Institute

Dr. Menon completed her M.D. at the University of British Columbia in 1989, her Pediatric Critical Care training in 1996 and a Master’s degree in Epidemiology in 2000. She is a senior investigator at the Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario Research Institute and Vice-Chair of the Canadian Critical Care Trials Group. Her research focuses on adrenal insufficiency, consent for research and pediatric intensive care unit (PICU) resource utilization.

Her work on adrenal insufficiency has included defining the issue in a large critically ill patient population, surveying clinicians’ perceptions of the problem, conducting a systematic review of the literature, and completion of a pilot randomized controlled trial of steroids versus a placebo in pediatric septic shock. The final goal of this program is to inform the development of guidelines on the use of steroids in children with septic shock. Dr. Menon’s work on the research consent process has focused on exploring alternative consent models in the pediatric critical care setting, with the goal of identifying and addressing barriers to obtaining informed consent using an evidence-based approach. Finally, her work on PICU resource utilization aims to develop a model for PICU resource utilization for use as a template for economic evaluations in future PICU trials.

Presently, Dr. Menon is the lead investigator for an international randomized controlled clinical trial of stress hydrocortisone in pediatric septic shock (SHIPSS study, www.shipss.org). This study combines her three research interests by including sub-studies on deferred versus prior informed consent and development of a PICU cost model.

Research Projects

  1. Parental Understanding of Research Consent Forms in the PICU: A Pilot Study


    Despite positive opinions of the consent form, most legal guardians did not understand all key components of the consent information provided to them orally and in writing within 24 hours of their child’s PICU admission. Future studies are required to determine barriers to understanding and explore alternative approaches to obtaining consent in this setting.

  2. A Pragmatic Method for Identification of Long-Stay Patients in the PICU


    We present a pragmatic method for the retrospective identification of LSPs in the PICU that incorporates unit- and/or patient-specific characteristics. The next steps would be to validate this method using other patient and/or unit characteristics in different PICUs and over time.

  3. A Randomized Controlled Trial Of Corticosteroids In Pediatric Septic Shock: A Pilot Feasibility Study


    This study suggests that a large RCT on early use of corticosteroids in pediatric septic shock is potentially feasible. However, the frequent use of empiric corticosteroids in otherwise eligible patients remains a significant challenge.