Updated Ottawa Rules app could help doctors predict strokes, catch deadly brain bleeds

May 14, 2020

Drs. Jeff Perry and Ian StiellDrs. Jeff Perry and Ian StiellA free app for emergency department physicians based on Ottawa’s world-renowned clinical decision rules has added more rules to its roster. 

Researchers at The Ottawa Hospital and the University of Ottawa are world leaders in developing clinical decision rules that streamline diagnosis, reduce wait times and limit unnecessary diagnostic tests.  

The rules can also save lives. A previous study estimated thOttawa SAH Rule would save 25 lives each year in Ontario by identifying which headache patients might have deadly bleeding in the brain. 

First launched in 2016The Ottawa Rules app recently added rules for subarachnoid hemorrhage (bleeding in the brain)predicting which patients with transient ischemic attacks (TIA or mini-strokes) are at risk of more serious strokes, and deciding when CT scans are necessary after a head injury. 

All of the rules have been validated in scientific studies and publications. It’s hoped that having the rules made available and interactive within the app will encourage more clinicians to use the rules.  

The rules featured in the app were developed by teams led by Dr. Ian Stiell and Dr. Jeff Perry

Dr. Perry is excited to have his clinical decision rules for SAH and TIA added to the app to help emergency physicians and patients worldwide. “The Ottawa Rules have been rigorously derived, validated and shown to positively impact the efficiency of medical practice and to improve the safety of our patients.? I think that expanding the rules and scores on the Ottawa Rules App will allow them to have an even greater impact.” - Dr. Jeff Perry, senior scientist and emergency physician at The Ottawa Hospital, Professor and Research Chair in Emergency Neurological Research at the University of Ottawa 

The app has been downloaded more than 7,800 times in up to 135 countries. Healthcare providers can download it for free from the App Store and Google Play. 

See the full list of clinical decision rules developed by Ottawa researchers. 

Funding: The expansion of The Ottawa Rules app was supported by the Innovation Fund of the Alternative Funding Plan for the Academic Health Sciences Centres of Ontario. Researchers at The Ottawa Hospital are also supported by generous donations to the hospital 

The Ottawa Hospital is a leading academic health, research and learning hospital proudly affiliated with the University of Ottawa.  

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