Statement from Dr. Brian H. Rowe: Canadian Intensive Care Week

October 2017

October 22-28 marks Canadian Intensive Care Week – a week to reflect on the important role of critical care in health care delivery and celebrate the valuable contributions research has made to improving care in Canada and around the world. Intensive care units (ICU) provide critical care to patients experiencing severe illness and injury.  In 2013–2014, 11% of adult hospital stays in Canada outside of Quebec included time in an ICU.  It is estimated that in the coming decades, there will be an increase in the use and cost of ICUs due to Canada’s aging population. Outbreaks of pandemic diseases (e.g., Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS), H1N1 Influenza and Ebola), responses to natural disasters (e.g., wildfires, floods, ice storms and tornados), and the increasing threat from bio-terrorism underscore the need for further research into the delivery of critical care and disaster preparedness.

Canada is home to some of the leading investigators in Critical Care Medicine in the world.  Breakthroughs in ventilation management, resuscitation, sepsis management, and other critical care areas have resulted from research leadership by and with Canadian scientists.  Interdisciplinary research collaborations have been the hallmark of the knowledge generation and translation that have improved health outcomes following severe medical illness and trauma.

The CIHR’s Institute of Circulatory and Respiratory Health (ICRH) is committed to investing in high quality research in critical care including clinical trials and other areas of care.  The Institute currently provides support to the Canadian Critical Care Trial Group (CCCTG), which is a national research network of more than 300 individuals who conduct investigator-initiated, patient oriented, interdisciplinary, and multicentre research.  Through its Community Development Program, CCCTG funding from ICRH is helping facilitate its transition from an individual investigator-led project based network to an integrated, nation-wide infrastructure capable of supporting and enhancing practice changing research programs in critical care across participating centres and provinces.

On behalf of CIHR-ICRH, I would like to acknowledge the dedicated members who comprise the ICU team including Nurses, Respiratory Therapists, Dieticians, Rehabilitation Specialists (e.g., Occupational Therapists, Speech Language Pathologists, Physiotherapists, Physiatrists, etc.) Pharmacists, Critical Care Physicians, and others who provide timely, evidence-informed care to severely ill and injured patients in their most vulnerable state. Your compassion, dedication and diligence are greatly appreciated by millions of patients and families across Canada. Keep up the excellent work!

Dr. Brian H. Rowe
Scientific Director, Institute of Circulatory and Respiratory Health, CIHR
Professor, University of Alberta

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