Hospital  >  Departments  >  Critical Care Medicine  >  Research


The Department of Critical Care Medicine has an active research program, whose overarching objective is to improve the understanding of critical illness and deliver the best possible patient care.  Department members have expertise in both clinical research methods and basic science, although most research activities are clinically focused.  Our investigators and scientists employ a variety of health services methodologies, including observational studies (using clinical data and large administrative datasets), surveys, meta-analyses, qualitative evaluations, and randomized controlled trials.  In addition to physician-researchers, our team includes a full-time biostatistician and 2 full-time research coordinators.

We currently participate in a broad range of research – including projects initiated within our Department and those from other academic investigators and from the healthcare industry.  Our researchers are supported by and have received peer-reviewed grants from many sources, including Canadian Institutes of Health Research, Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care, Physicians’ Services Incorporated, National Institutes of Health, Department of National Defence, Canadian Blood Services, Anemia Foundation, Canadian Intensive Care Foundation, Change Foundation, Society of Critical Care Medicine and University of Toronto.

Major current areas of research include:

  • Trauma care and the investigation of the body’s inflammatory and coagulation response to injury.  Department members are collaborating with and leading several studies and clinical trials examining the use of hypertonic saline for resuscitation, coagulation disorders after traumatic illness, and the use of activated clotting factors to stop life-threatening bleeding
  • Neurosurgical therapies to prevent life-threatening brain swelling after severe brain injury
  • Access to critical care services in Ontario and Canada, including an analysis of factors such as age, place of residence, gender, and socio-economic status, that may influence the provision of critical care
  • Attitudes, beliefs and acceptance of research participation among critically ill patients
  • End-of-life decision making and care delivery
  • Knowledge translation from one aspect of the health care system to others
  • Use of non-invasive ventilation to support patients’ breathing
  • Blood conservation techniques to prevent anemia in critically ill patients
  • Modalities of renal replacement therapy for critically ill patients
  • Ethics of critical illness and decision-making
  • Synthesis of best clinical evidence to guide treatment decisions for critically ill patients
  • Patient safety and the interface between technology and patient care
  • Use of anticoagulants to prevent venous thromboembolism in critically ill patients
  • Acute lung injury
  • Severe community acquired pneumonia
  • Severe infection and sepsis


Location and contact

Critical Care Medicine

Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre
2075 Bayview Avenue, 
D-wing, 1st floor
room D1 08
Toronto, ON M4N 3M5

Phone: 416-480-4522
Fax: 416-480-4999

For information about patients admitted to Sunnybrook's Intensive Care Units, please contact the unit through the hospital switchboard at 416-480-6100