Media Release

MPP recognizes St. Michael’s physician for work to save lives

Member’s statement acknowledges Dr. Laurie Morrison for world-first research on cardiac arrest and push to make defibrillators mandatory in public places

Toronto, May 18, 2010

Ancaster-Dundas-Flamborough-Westdale MPP Ted McMeekin endorsed the work of St. Michael’s Dr. Laurie Morrison and her team at Queen’s Park yesterday for their work to reduce cardiac deaths across North America.

“I'm pleased to rise today to discuss the great work of the Resuscitation Outcomes Consortium, commonly known as ROC, which is making a difference every single day,” McMeekin said during a member’s statement.

ROC, a large, multinational research collaboration of 10 sites across the United States and Canadaare studying how promising new tools and treatments can improve survival rates among people who suffer cardiac arrest or life-threatening traumatic injury. Funded by the National Institutes of Health, the Canadian Institute of Health Research, the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada and other U.S.federal and Canadian agencies, the collaboration involves EMS, public safety agencies, regional hospitals, community health-care institutions, medical centres and more than 15,000 patients.

Research by the group has found that a bystander who attempts CPR can quadruple the survival rate to more than 50 per cent, yet only 30 per cent of bystanders in Toronto are willing to help, one of the lowest rates of bystanders helping others in the developed world. What’s more, defibrillators, when used in conjunction with CPR in the first few minutes after a cardiac arrest, can also dramatically improve cardiac arrest survival rates by more than 75 per cent, the group has found. In five regional sites which have participated in the study, cardiac arrest survival rates have already more than tripled.

Now Dr. Morrison and her team are not only saving lives, but are now working to have McMeekin’s private member’s bill, Bill 41 — the Defibrillator Access Act — which calls for AEDs to be installed in public places, become law.

“As you know, my private member's bill, Bill 41, passed second reading on May 6, and the ROC's research was an important part of that,” McMeekin said. “I want to take this opportunity to recognize and extend my sincere thanks to the ROC and all its partners, in both Canadaand the United States, for their invaluable contribution to public health. I especially want to thank Dr. Laurie Morrison of Rescu at St. Michael's Hospital here in Toronto for her dedication and incredible hard work.”

About St. Michael’s Hospital

St. Michael’s Hospital provides compassionate care to all who walk through its doors. The Hospital also provides outstanding medical education to future health care professionals in more than 23 academic disciplines. Critical care and trauma, heart disease, neurosurgery, diabetes, cancer care, and care of the homeless are among the Hospital’s recognized areas of expertise. Through the Keenan Research Centre and the Li Ka Shing Knowledge Institute, research at St. Michael’s Hospital is recognized and put into practice around the world. Founded in 1892, the Hospital is fully affiliated with the University of Toronto.