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SRI Profiles

Russell D. MacDonald, MD, MPH, FCFP, FRCPC

Associate scientist

Ornge Transport Medicine
5310 Explorer Drive
Mississauga, ON
L4W 5H8

Phone: 647-428-2034 or 416-397-9071
Fax: 647-428-2006


  • B.Sc., 1987, biochemistry, Bishop's University, Canada
  • MD, 1991, Queen's University, Canada
  • CCFP, 1993, family medicine, Queen's University, Canada
  • FRCPC, 1996, emergency medicine, Queen's University, Canada
  • Fellowship, 1999, emergency medical services, Boston University/Boston EMS, U.S.
  • Master of public health, 1999, Boston University, U.S.

Appointments and Affiliations:

  • Associate scientist, Evaluative Clinical Sciences, Trauma, Emergency & Critical Care Research Program, Sunnybrook Research Institute
  • Attending staff, emergency services, Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre
  • Associate professor, department of medicine, University of Toronto
  • Member, Institute of Medical Sciences, U of T
  • Medical director, Ornge Transport Medicine
  • Medical advisor, Toronto Paramedic Services

Research Focus:

  • Adverse events, errors and near misses in critical care transport
  • Predictors of critical events in critical care land and air medical transport
  • Evidence-based planning, decision-support and optimization of resource allocation in patient transport

Research Summary:

Dr. MacDonald's research is focused on the reduction of risks and identification of sources of error or near misses in critical care land and air transport. His work includes a comprehensive patient-centred, system-based and vehicle-centred approach that involves working with multidisciplinary teams of experts in medicine, aviation, communication and engineering to address complex interdisciplinary challenges in air and land critical care patient transport. The goal is to develop predictive strategies and use a taxonomy-based approach to categorize events, perform root cause analyses to mitigate adverse events and improve patient safety in the transport setting.

Dr. MacDonald is also interested in an operations-based approach to system performance improvement and evidence-based resource allocation. Working with experts in operations-based research, he is involved in the development of systems that predict and optimize allocation of aircraft and crew resources to improve access to air medical transport while minimizing health care costs.

Multidisciplinary areas of research allow Dr. MacDonald to assist and supervise graduate students in medical and nonmedical programs that focus on prehospital care and transport medicine research.

Selected Publications:

See current publications list at PubMed.

  1. Singh JM, Gunz A, Dhanani S, Ahghari M, MacDonald RD. Frequency, composition, and predictors of in-transit critical events during pediatric critical care transport. Pediatr Crit Care Med. 2016 Aug 8. doi: 10.1097/PCC.0000000000000919
  2. Singh JM, MacDonald RD, Ahghari M. Post-medication hypotension after administration of sedatives and opioids during critical care transport. Prehosp Emerg Care. 2015;19(4):464–74. doi: 10.3109/10903127.2014.995848.
  3. Giang W, Donmez B, Ahghari M, MacDonald RD. The impact of precipitation on land interfacility transport times. Prehosp Disaster Med. 2014 Dec;29(6):593–9.
  4. Giang WCW, Donmez B, Zakir A, Ahghari M, MacDonald RD. Supporting dispatch decisions in interfacility medical transfers: Understanding the roles of uncertainty and reliability. Proceedings of the International Symposium on Human Factors and Ergonomics in Health Care. 2015;4(1):174–8.
  5. Minei JP, Fabian TC, Guffey DM, Newgard CD, Bulger EM, Brasel KJ , Sperry JL, MacDonald RD. Increased trauma center volume is associated with improved survival after severe injury: results of a Resuscitation Outcomes Consortium study. Ann Surg. 2014 Sep;260(3):456–64.

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