When is fainting a sign of a bigger problem? $730,000 grant to help researchers find out

January 13, 2016

Fainting is fairly common - 35 to 40 percent of people do it at least once in their lives. But for one in 10 fainters it can be a symptom of a potentially life-threating condition such as arrhythmia, or heart rhythm disturbance.

Dr. Venkatesh Thiruganasambandamoorthy has created a screening tool to help emergency doctors predict the likelihood of these life-threatening conditions happening within a month of fainting. The tool will also help safely and quickly discharge low-risk patients. He hopes it will reduce emergency room wait times for these patients, which generally run three to seven hours. The tool could also cut back on unnecessary CT scans, which are performed on about half of fainting patients despite that fact that brain-related causes are rare.

Now a $730,000 grant from the Cardiac Arrhythmia Network of Canada (CANet) will help Dr. Thiruganasambandamoorthy validate the tool before implementing it across Canada.

Co-investigators: Jamie Brehaut, Monica Taljaard, Kednapa Thavorn and Dawn Stacey.

About The Ottawa Hospital

The Ottawa Hospital is one of Canada’s largest learning and research hospitals with over 1,100 beds, approximately 12,000 staff and an annual budget of over $1.2 billion. Our focus on research and learning helps us develop new and innovative ways to treat patients and improve care. As a multi-campus hospital, affiliated with the University of Ottawa, we deliver specialized care to the Eastern Ontario region, but our techniques and research discoveries are adopted around the world. We engage the community at all levels to support our vision for better patient care.

For further information, please contact

Jennifer Ganton
Director, Communications and Public Relations
Ottawa Hospital Research Institute
Office: 613-798-5555 x 73325
Cell: 613-614-5253