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 Scientist at the Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario Research Institute and Vice-Chair/Chair Elect of the Canadian Critical Care Trials Group and COVID-19 Network of Clinical Trials Networks. Dr. Menon is also the CHEO Foundation Research Chair in Pediatric Intensive Care. Her research focuses on three main areas: corticosteroids and septic shock, international collaboration in critical care research, and consent processes in pediatric intensive care research.

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. She is currently leading an international randomized controlled clinical trial of stress hydrocortisone in pediatric septic shock (SHIPSS study, www.shipss.org) to inform the development of guidelines on the use of steroids in children with septic shock. This study is currently recruiting and will enroll 1032 children from 75 sites and 11 countries, including Canada, the United States, Saudi Arabia, Israel, Brazil, and 7 countries within Asia.

Recently, Dr. Menon’s research has also focused on incorporating research on the role of social determinants of health in diagnosing pediatric sepsis. In 2023, she launched the International PICU Trials Collaboration. This multi-network working group will review and discuss the current status of pediatric critical care trials, and design a roadmap to improve collaboration in pediatric critical care trials in the coming decade. 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.

Presently, Dr. Menon is a committee member on the Society of Critical Care Medicine (SCCM) and European Society of Intensive Care Medicine 2024 Surviving Sepsis Campaign Children’s Guidelines panel, and the lead methodologist on the SCCM pediatric sepsis definition task force.

Related News

Research Projects

  1. Development of a Framework and Comprehensive National Database of Pediatric COVID-19 Research in Canada


  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.