Bringing the beat back: $900k grant to help researchers compare fixes for rapid heartbeat

June 29, 2016

It’s common for doctors in medical dramas to use a defibrillator to shock a patient back to life. However, the same machine can also help a heart that’s beating too fast. About 350,000 Canadians have atrial fibrillation (AF), a rapid, irregular heartbeat caused by a variety of conditions. In previous studies, Drs. Jeffrey Perry and Ian Stiell and their team found that Canadian emergency physicians use a wide variety of treatment options to quickly get this heart rate back to normal. The team received a $900k grant from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) to compare the effectiveness of shocking on its own compared to giving the patient drugs before the shock. In addition to looking at heart rate, the randomized study will also record the length of hospital stay, adverse effects, patient satisfaction and two-week follow-up status. This is one of 22 grants awarded to researchers from The Ottawa Hospital / uOttawa in the latest CIHR competition.

Co-investigators: Birnie, David H; Borgundvaag, Bjug; Brison, Robert J; Hohl, Corinne M; Macle, Laurent; Mcrae, Andrew D; Rowe, Brian H; Sivilotti, Marco L; Vadeboncoeur, Alain; Wells, George A

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