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Resuscitation in Motion: conference fosters collaboration between today’s scientists and the next generation

Toronto, May 2, 2016

By Marc Dodsworth

Dr. Kaity Dainty
Dr. Katie Dainty

Senior scientists from North America, Europe and Australia are meeting with the next generation of resuscitation researchers, allied professionals and members of the public at St. Michael’s Hospital this week to discuss out-of-hospital cardiac arrest, CPR and AED use, and other pre-hospital patient resuscitation issues.

“Resuscitation in Motion is distinct from other conferences due to its innovative structure,” said Dr. Judith Finn, a professor at Australia’s Curtin University and director of the Australian Resuscitation Outcomes Consortium. “Due to its interdisciplinary and intergenerational nature, we get perspectives outside of the traditional group think mentality so present in science-only conferences and learn as much from younger scientists as they do from us.”

Jointly hosted by St. Michael’s Hospital, the Critical Illness and Injury Research Centre of the hospital’s Li Ka Shing Knowledge Institute, and the University of Toronto Collaborative Program in Resuscitation Science, RiM 2016 is a showcase for innovations in technology and cutting-edge developments in prehospital and bedside science.

About 40,000 Canadians die every year after suffering a cardiac arrest outside of a hospital – one every 13 minutes.

Christopher Sun, a PhD student in industrial engineering, presented research on Tuesday showing that it’s important to know which publicly accessible buildings have an automatic external defibrillator, or AED, as well as when those AEDs are accessible. Having an AED in a downtown office building that closes at 6 p.m. doesn’t help someone who has a cardiac arrest nearby at 8 p.m., said Sun, who is conducting the research at the University of Toronto in collaboration with Rescu.

Rescu, based at St. Michael’s, is the largest research program of its kind in Canada, working with emergency responders to develop and evaluate interventions for people who suffer life-threatening trauma and cardiac emergencies outside of a hospital.

Sun said his research identified coffee shops chains and bank ATMs as good location for publicly available AEDs as they are recognizable locations, often located within 100 metres of where cardiac arrests take place and have security cameras that could deter theft.

On Monday, Dr. Katie Dainty of St. Michael’s Hospital discussed her proposal to create a web-based registry where people who witness a cardiac arrest can share their experiences about why they did – or did not – perform CPR and get answers about whether they did the right thing.

“Research has shown that someone who receives CPR from a bystander has a four times better chance of surviving – yet that only happens in 30 to 40 per cent of out-of-hospital cardiac arrests,” said Dr. Dainty. “Via what we call the Cardiac Arrest Bystander Support Network, we can create a community for research and knowledge translation that engages bystanders as another effective method by which those who experience cardiac arrests may be helped.”

The concept was born out of feedback that witnesses have no avenue to debrief or get information about what happened, or what a cardiac arrest is, and the fact that there is no systematic way of recruiting this population for research.

Also this week, St. Michael’s will be the site of the inaugural CanROC Assembly. The University of Toronto, the University of Ottawa and the University of B.C., along with many regional paramedic and fire services, have participated in the joint U.S.-Canadian Resuscitation Outcomes Consortium known as ROC.

With funding from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research and the Heart and Stroke Foundation, the three principal investigators, Dr. Laurie Morrison (St. Michael’s), Dr. Ian Stiell (Ottawa Heart Research Institute) and Jim Christenson (UBC) are creating the Canadian version of ROC (CanROC). It will continue to perform intervention studies in out-of-hospital cardiac arrest and major trauma and will potentially reach all provinces and territories.


This paper is an example of how St. Michael's Hospital is making Ontario Healthier, Wealthier, Smarter.

About St. Michael's Hospital

St. Michael’s Hospital provides compassionate care to all who enter its doors. The hospital also provides outstanding medical education to future health care professionals in 27 academic disciplines. Critical care and trauma, heart disease, neurosurgery, diabetes, cancer care, care of the homeless and global health are among the hospital’s recognized areas of expertise. Through the Keenan Research Centre and the Li Ka Shing International Healthcare Education Centre, which make up the Li Ka Shing Knowledge Institute, research and education at St. Michael's Hospital are recognized and make an impact around the world. Founded in 1892, the hospital is fully affiliated with the University of Toronto.