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Damon Scales, PhD, FRCPC, MD


Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre
2075 Bayview Ave., Room D1 08
Toronto, ON
M4N 3M5

Phone: 416-480-6100, ext. 83734

Executive Assistant: Meredith Malloy
Phone: 416-480-6100, ext. 2895


  • PhD, 2007, clinical epidemiology, University of Toronto
  • Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada, 2003, critical care medicine, U of T
  • Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada, 2001, internal medicine, U of T
  • MD, 1997, U of T

Appointments and Affiliations:

  • Scientist, Evaluative Clinical Sciences, Trauma, Emergency & Critical Care Research Program, Sunnybrook Research Institute
  • Associate professor, department of medicine, interdepartmental division of critical care, U of T
  • Staff physician, department of critical care medicine, Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre
  • Adjunct scientist, Institute for Clinical Evaluative Sciences (ICES)
  • Executive and organizing committee, Critical Care Canada Forum
  • Critical Care Leadership Education and Research (C-CLEAR) committee, Sunnybrook
  • Program committee and quality improvement committee, American Thoracic Society
  • Program director, adult critical care medicine residency program, U of T

Research Foci:

  • System-level interventions to improve intensive care unit (ICU) quality, safety and patient outcomes
  • Health services research to improve outcomes for critically ill patients
  • Improving post-resuscitation care for survivors of cardiac arrest
  • Improving neuroprognostication for patients with anoxic brain injury

Research Summary:

Dr. Scales is a clinician scientist at Sunnybrook. He received his medical degree in 1997 from the University of Toronto and subsequently specialized in internal medicine and adult critical care medicine. His PhD in clinical epidemiology (U of T) examined the impact of ICU technology on long-term survival. Dr. Scales conducts health services and translational health research that seeks to improve the outcomes of critically ill patients. He has conducted several large cluster randomized controlled trials (RCT) of large-scale interventions for improving quality. These have included a cluster RCT of a multifaceted knowledge translation intervention to increase adoption of six evidence-based care practices (The ICU Clinical Best Practices Project funded by the Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care), and a stepped-wedge cluster RCT to improve the use of therapeutic hypothermia in cardiac arrest survivors (The Strategies for Post-Arrest Care trial, funded by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research and the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada). He is currently conducting a stepped-wedge cluster RCT to improve the application of evidence-based predictions about neurological prognosis for patients that have suffered from anoxic brain injury (the PremaTOR trial, HSFC, CIHR and Physicians' Services Incorporation Foundation). He is also the principal investigator for the ICE-PACS RCT, which is evaluating the pre-hospital initiation of therapeutic hypothermia by paramedics for improving outcomes after cardiac arrest.

Selected Publications:

See current publications list at PubMed.

  1. Scales DC, Dainty K, Hales B, Pinto R, Fowler RA, Adhikari NK and Zwarenstein M. A multifaceted intervention for quality improvement in a network of intensive care units: a cluster randomized trial. JAMA. 2011 Jan 26; 305(4):363–372.
  2. Dainty KN, Scales DC, Brooks SC, Needham DM, Dorian P, Ferguson N, Rubenfeld G, Wax R, Zwarenstein M, Thorpe K and Morrison LJ. A knowledge translation collaborative to improve the use of therapeutic hypothermia in post-cardiac arrest patients: protocol for a stepped wedge randomized trial. Implement Sci. 2011 Jan; 14;6:4.
  3. Scales DC, Smith OM, Pinto R, Barrett KA, Friedrich JO, Lazar NM, Cook DJ, Ferguson ND. Patients' preferences for enrolment into critical-care trials. Intensive Care Med. 2009 Oct; 35(10):1703–1712.
  4. Scales DC, Thiruchelvam D, Kiss A, Redelmeier DA. The effect of tracheostomy timing during critical illness on long-term survival. Crit Care Med. 2008 Sep; 36(9):2547–2557.

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