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Contact Information

Ian Stiell, MD, MSc, FRCPC


Carolyne Kennedy
Research Administrator
Tel: 613-798-5555 ex. 18683
Email: cakennedy@ohri.ca

ORCID logo https://orcid.org/0000-0002-2583-6408

Ian Stiell

Senior Scientist, Clinical Epidemiology Program
Ottawa Hospital Research Institute
Clinical Research Chair, Emergency Medicine
University of Ottawa
Distinguished Professor, Emergency Medicine
University of Ottawa
Editor-in-Chief, Canadian Journal of Emergency Medicine (CJEM)

Research Interests

Emergency Medicine

Clinical Decision Rules

Cardiac Arrest

Prehospital Resuscitation

Emergency Medicine Research Fellowship

Brief Biography

Dr. Stiell has recently released a smartphone app! Download "The Ottawa Rules" here for iPhone or Android.

Dr. Ian Stiell is a Canadian academic emergency physician who is widely known for his pioneering research in care of acutely ill and injured patients. He is a Distinguished Professor of Emergency Medicine and Epidemiology and Public Health at the University of Ottawa, and Senior Scientist in The Ottawa Hospital Research Institute. 

Dr. Stiell was the first Chair of the new Department of Emergency Medicine at U Ottawa (2002) and which has since developed into one of the most productive EM units in the world. His research has focused on clinical decision rules and risk scales, as well as clinical trials in cardiac arrest and acute atrial fibrillation. 

Dr. Stiell has had more than 400 peer-reviewed publications with 21 as first-author in very-high impact journals: 5 New Engl J Med, 3 Lancet, 8 JAMA, 2 BMJ, 3 Circulation, and has an overall H-index >110. Dr. Stiell established the OHRI Emergency Research Group, currently comprised of 7 clinician investigators, 10 fellows, and 30 staff and has held or is holding over $26 million in peer-reviewed funding as PI. He directs the international U Ottawa EM Research Fellowship which has had 31 fellows from around the world. 

Dr. Stiell has received many research awards including U.S. Institute of Medicine, CIHR Distinguished Investigator, and U Ottawa Distinguished Professor.

Dr. Stiell has focused his career on 2 main areas.

1) Clinical Decision Rules. He is known for his multicentre CIHR-funded studies to derive, validate, and implement ED clinical decision rules and risk scales. Completed are the projects to develop the Ottawa Ankle, Ottawa Knee, Canadian C-Spine, and Canadian CT Head Rules, each successfully implemented into practice and leading to efficient use of imaging worldwide. He recently created the Ottawa Heart Failure and COPD Risk Scales to help physicians make more rational and safe admission decisions.
2) Acute Cardiac Conditions. Dr. Stiell has conducted many, large clinical trials to test new innovations for cardiac arrest, contributing to international guidelines. Largest were the OPALS trials that evaluated defibrillation and advanced life support by paramedics, being the first to quantify the value of the links in the “chain of survival.” Dr. Stiell was PI for a 10,000 patient trial that tested the strategy of delayed defibrillation after 3 minutes of CPR (2011). He has also led many innovative studies to evaluate the best ED management for recent-onset atrial fibrillation.

In his international Emergency Medicine Research Fellowship, Dr. Stiell has supervised 31 Graduate Epidemiology students; in 2005 he received the U Ottawa of Medicine Mentoring Award.

Since he began his research career in 1991, Dr. Stiell has had 422 publications, of which 209 were as first or senior author; 804 national and international published scientific abstracts. He was active in updating the AHA/ILCOR cardiac arrest guidelines and was lead author for the ED Management chapter of the CCS Atrial Fibrillation guidelines. Dr. Stiell’s work has been cited 96265 times, giving him an overall H-index of 111 and an i10-index of 341. The quality of his papers has been very high with 20 first-author papers in journals with impact factor >12: 5 x New Engl J Med (54.4), 2 x Lancet (39.2), 8 x JAMA (30.4), 2 x BMJ (16.4) 3 x Circulation (14.9); he was also a co-author on 21 high-impact journal papers.

Dr. Stiell has received many research awards including U.S. Institute of Medicine, CIHR Distinguished Investigator, and U Ottawa Distinguished Professor (only 10 faculty members can hold at one time).

Honours and Awards

Editor-in-Chief, Canadian Journal of Emergency Medinice, 2017-present
HRF Medal of Honour - Health Research Foundation of Innovative Medicines Canada, 2017
Grant Innes Research Paper and Presentation Award - Creation of the Canadian Heart Failure Risk Scale for Acute Heart Failure Patients; Canadian Association of Emergency Physicians (CAEP), June 2017
Research Excellence Award, Ottawa Hospital Research Institute, 2016
Outstanding Contribution in Research, American College of Emergency Physicians, 2012
President’s Award, Canadian Association of Emergency Physicians, 2012
Distinguished Professor, University of Ottawa, 2007
University Health Research Chair, University of Ottawa, 2006
Faculty of Medicine Mentoring Award, University of Ottawa, 2005
Senior Investigator Award, Society for Academic Emergency Medicine, 2005
Order of the International Federation for Emergency Medicine, 2004
Dr. J. David Grimes Research Career Achievement Award, Ottawa Health Research Institute, 2002
Visiting Professorship in Medical Research, Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada, 2002
Distinguished Investigator, Canadian Institutes for Health Research, 2001
WG Smith Memorial Lectureship, Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital, Perth, Australia, 2001
Hal Jayne Academic Achievement Award, Society for Academic Emergency Medicine, 2000
Member, Institute of Medicine, National Academy of Sciences, 1999

Selected Publications

Stiell IG, Sivilotti MLA, Taljaard M, Birnie D, Vadeboncoeur A, Hohl CM, McRae AD, Rowe BH, Brison RJ, Thiruganasambandamoorthy V, Macle L, Borgundvaag B, Morris J, Mercier E, Clement CM, Brinkhurst J, Sheehan C, Brown E, Nemnom, M-J, Wells GA, Perry JJ.  Electrical versus pharma cological cardioversion for emergency department patients with acute atrial fibrillation (RAFF2): a partial factorial randomised trial. The Lancet. 2020 February 01 Vol. 395, No. 10221, p339–349 View abstract

Stiell IG
, Perry JJ, Clement CM, Brison RJ, Rowe BH, Aaron SD, McRae AD, Borgundvaag B, Calder LA, Forster AJ, Brinkhurst J, Wells GA. Clinical validation of a risk scale for serious outcomes among patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease managed in the emergency department. CMAJ. 2018 Dec 3;190(48):E1406-E1413.  View abstract
Stiell IG, Brown SP, Nichol G, Cheskes S, Vaillancourt C, Callaway CW, Morrison LJ, Christenson J, Aufderheide TP, Davis DP, Free C, Hostler D, Stouffer JA, Idris A, and the ROC Investigators. What is the Optimal Chest Compression Depth during Out-of-Hospital Cardiac Arrest Resuscitation of Adult Patients? Circulation, 2014 Nov 25;130(22):1962-70. View abstract 

Stiell IG, Clement CM, Brison RJ, Rowe BH, Borgundvaag B, Aaron SD, Lang E, Calder LA, Perry JJ, Forster AJ, Wells GA. Clinical Characteristics Associated with Adverse Events in Patients with Exacerbation of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease: Prospective Cohort Study. CMAJ 2014 Apr 1;186(6):E193-204. View abstract

Stiell IG, Nichol G, Leroux B, Rea TD, Ornato JP, Powell J et al. Resuscitation Outcomes Consortium ROC PRIMED Trial of Early Rhythm Analysis versus Later Analysis in Out-of-Hospital Cardiac Arrest. N Engl J Med. 2011 Sep 1;365(9):787-97. View abstract

Stiell IG
, Clement CM, Grimshaw JM, Brison RJ, Rowe BH, Lee JS, Shaw A, Brehaut J, Holroyd BR, Schull MJ, McKnight D, Eisenhauer MA, Dreyer J, Letovsky E, Rutledge T, MacPhail I, Ross S, Perry JJ, Ip U, Lesiuk H, Bennett C, Wells GA. A Prospective 12-Centre Cluster Randomized Trial to Implement the Canadian CT Head Rule in Emergency Departments. CMAJ.2010;182(14) Oct 1527-1531. View abstract

Stiell IG, Clement CM, O’Connor A, Davies B, Leclair C, Sheehan P, Clavet T, Beland C, MacKenzie T, Wells GA. Multicenter Prospective Validation of the Canadian C-Spine Rule by Emergency Department Triage Nurses. CMAJ 2010;Aug 10;182(11):1173-9. View abstract

Stiell IG, Clement CM, Grimshaw J, Brison R, Rowe BH, Schull MJ, Lee J, Brehaut J, McKnight D, Eisenhauer MA, Dreyer J, Letovsky E, Rutledge T, MacPhail I, Ross S, Perry JJ, Holroyd BR, Ip U, Lesiuk H, Wells GA. Implementation of the Canadian C-Spine Rule: A Prospective 12-Centre Cluster Randomized Trial. British Medical Journal 2009. BMJ. 2009 Oct 29;339:b4146. View abstract       

Stiell IG, Nesbitt LP, Pickett W, Munkley D, Spaite DW, Banek J, Field B, Luinstra-Toohey L, Maloney J, Dreyer J, Lyver M, Campeau T, Wells GA, for the OPALS Study Group. The OPALS Major Trauma Study: impact of advanced life support on survival and morbidity. Can Med Assoc J 2008;178:1141-1152. View abstract

Diseases, conditions and populations of interest

Research and clinical approaches