Jan 27, 2023

Dr. Angela Jerath and Dr. Brian Cuthbertson receive funding from the CIHR

Dr. Angela Jerath and Dr. Brian Cuthbertson

In a media release from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR), the Clinical Trials Fund (CTF) was described as "foundational in ensuring that Canadians are well served by a national clinical trials network that fosters all aspects of therapeutics development, from discovery through to delivery."

Approximately $60M is being awarded to 22 projects to fund clinical trial phases, designs, and objectives that align with the priorities of Canada‚Äôs Biomanufacturing and Life Sciences Strategy 

The project is described below:

Project: Advancing Brain Outcomes in pediatric critically ill patients sedated with Volatile AnEsthestic Agents: A pilot multicentre randomized controlled trial
Principal investigator: Dr. Angela Jerath
Sunnybrook co-principal investigator: Dr. Brian Cuthbertson
Funding: $1,121,996

Project Overview

In children needing life-saving critical care, over 50% suffer from an acute brain disorder called delirium which presents as poor concentration, memory and attention. Unfortunately, delirium has no treatment and leads to higher risk of childhood death, longer hospital stays and higher costs of care. For families, their child is irritable, may not recognize them when they visit, and can lead to longer-term care burdens as delirium has been linked to slower and impaired childhood brain and behaviour development after hospital discharge. Many sick children need support from a ventilator, which requires intravenous (IV) sedatives to tolerate this uncomfortable procedure. Unfortunately, current sedatives may contribute to delirium through a combination of pharmacological and patient factors.

Inhaled sedatives are an alternative to currently used IV sedatives, and they may reduce delirium and accelerate brain recovery. Inhaled sedatives are used safely every day in operating rooms, widely available and inexpensive. In contrast to IV sedatives, they do not accumulate in the body, are rapidly eliminated via the lungs, promote faster awakening and liberation from the ventilator, and reduce inflammation, which may reduce delirium.

The ABOVE trial aims to evaluate the feasibility of using sedation with inhaled anesthetics in critically ill children, assess its safety and provide early information on delirium compared to IV sedatives. The research team will follow children who survive their hospital stay for one year to study any differences in intellectual and behaviour development. The information gathered will be used to conduct a larger study to see if inhaled anesthetics provide better sedation in critically ill children and reduce delirium. This study is unique for North America and will introduce a new type of sedation care for sick children worldwide.


This article was adapted from a research release published by the Sunnybrook Research Institute. Read the original article.