$1.5M grant could improve care for trauma patients and save $10M per year

June 30, 2015

Drs. Christian Vaillancourt and Ian Stiell have been awarded $1.5M from the Ontario SPOR (Strategy for Patient-Oriented Research) Support Unit to evaluate a strategy to reduce unnecessary immobilization of trauma patients by paramedics. Currently, paramedics in Ontario transport all trauma victims to hospital using a backboard, collar and head immobilizer, even though less than 1% of these patients have a neck fracture that requires immobilization.

Patients can spend many hours in this uncomfortable position as they wait for x-rays. The research team previously developed the Canadian C-Spine Rule to help health professionals determine which patients truly require immobilization.

Recently the rule was successfully implemented among Ottawa paramedics, and will now expand to 12 new communities across Ontario. They estimate the rule could save $10M per year in Ontario. Local co-investigators: Dean Fergusson, Monica Taljaard, Kednapa Thavorn, Jamie Brehaut, Ian Graham, Lisa Calder, Tim Ramsay, Peter Tugwell, Lucy Turner, Amy Plint, Martin Osmond, Lisa Nesbitt, Simone Dahrouge, Denis Prud’homme.

For further information, please contact

Lois Ross
Senior Communications Specialist
Ottawa Hospital Research Institute
Office: 613-737-8899 x73687
Cell: 613-297-8315