Karen Burns




Dr. Karen Burns practices critical care medicine at St. Michael’s Hospital in Toronto. She is an Associate Professor of Medicine at the University of Toronto, a Clinician Scientists at the Li Ka Shing Knowledge Institute, and an Associate Member of the Department of Clinical Epidemiology (McMaster University).

Dr. Burns’ research program focuses on evaluation strategies to liberate critically ill patients from mechanical ventilation and characterizing practice variation in weaning critically ill adults from ventilators. Her research program includes large scale observational studies, national and international weaning surveys, meta-analyses, and randomized trials comparing different weaning strategies. She also has developed a research program to characterize the unique aspects of the consent processes in critical care. Additional research interests include the use of artificial intelligence in weaning, helmet NIV, acute kidney injury in the intensive care unit, using noninvasive positive pressure ventilation as a weaning strategy, and methodology issues related to study design, implementation and reporting.

Dr. Burns has been the recipient of several personnel awards including a Canadian Institutes of Health Research Clinician Scientist Award, a Ministry of Research and Innovation Award, PSI – mid career research award, and two University of Toronto Merritt Committee Awards.

Dr. Burns is an Executive Member of the Canadian Critical Care Trials Group, a Treasurer of the Canadian Critical Care Society, and the current Chair of the Women in Critical Care Interest Group for the American Thoracic Society.

Recent Publications

  1. Leeies, M, Valiani, S, Prakash, V, Haddara, WMR, Taneja, R, Whittemore, KG et al.. Canadian Critical Care Society position statement on Equity, Diversity, Decolonization, and Inclusion. Can J Anaesth. 2023; :. doi: 10.1007/s12630-023-02448-9. PubMed PMID:37231230 .
  2. Cook, DJ, Swinton, M, Krewulak, KD, Fiest, K, Dionne, J, Debigare, S et al.. What counts as patient-important upper gastrointestinal bleeding in the ICU? A mixed-methods study protocol of patient and family perspectives. BMJ Open. 2023;13 (5):e070966. doi: 10.1136/bmjopen-2022-070966. PubMed PMID:37208143 PubMed Central PMC10201253.
  3. Li, Y, Fiest, K, Burns, KEA, O'Hearn, K, Maratta, C, Menon, K et al.. Addressing health care inequities in Canadian critical care through inclusive science: a pilot tool for standardized data collection. Can J Anaesth. 2023; :. doi: 10.1007/s12630-023-02450-1. PubMed PMID:37165123 .
  4. Hallot, S, Debay, V, Debigaré, S, Foster, N, Soboleva, N, Burns, KEA et al.. Validation of an Instrument to Measure Family Engagement in Acute Cardiac Care. CJC Open. 2023;5 (3):208-214. doi: 10.1016/j.cjco.2022.11.021. PubMed PMID:37013077 PubMed Central PMC10066429.
  5. Hryciw, BN, Hryciw, N, Tran, A, Fernando, SM, Rochwerg, B, Burns, KEA et al.. Predictors of Noninvasive Ventilation Failure in the Post-Extubation Period: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis. Crit Care Med. 2023; :. doi: 10.1097/CCM.0000000000005865. PubMed PMID:36995099 .
  6. Bosma, KJ, Martin, CM, Burns, KEA, Mancebo Cortes, J, Suárez Montero, JC, Skrobik, Y et al.. Study protocol for a randomized controlled trial of Proportional Assist Ventilation for Minimizing the Duration of Mechanical Ventilation: the PROMIZING study. Trials. 2023;24 (1):232. doi: 10.1186/s13063-023-07163-w. PubMed PMID:36973743 PubMed Central PMC10041480.
  7. Devlin, JW, Train, SE, Burns, KEA, Massaro, A, Wu, TT, Castor, T et al.. Critical Care Pharmacist Attitudes and Perceptions of Neuromuscular Blocker Infusions in ARDS. Ann Pharmacother. 2023; :10600280231160437. doi: 10.1177/10600280231160437. PubMed PMID:36946587 .
  8. Piquette, D, Burns, KEA, Carnevale, F, Sarti, AJ, Hamilton, M, Dodek, PM et al.. Moral Orientation, Moral Decision-Making, and Moral Distress Among Critical Care Physicians: A Qualitative Study. Crit Care Explor. 2023;5 (3):e0879. doi: 10.1097/CCE.0000000000000879. PubMed PMID:36895887 PubMed Central PMC9990831.
  9. Al-Dorzi, HM, AlQahtani, S, Al-Dawood, A, Al-Hameed, FM, Burns, KEA, Mehta, S et al.. Association of early mobility with the incidence of deep-vein thrombosis and mortality among critically ill patients: a post hoc analysis of PREVENT trial. Crit Care. 2023;27 (1):83. doi: 10.1186/s13054-023-04333-9. PubMed PMID:36869382 PubMed Central PMC9985278.
  10. Chaudhuri, D, Sharma, R, Burns, KEA, Piticaru, J, Cook, DJ, Rochwerg, B et al.. Introducing helmet non-invasive ventilation during COVID-19 pandemic: Early experience of two centres. Front Med (Lausanne). 2023;10 :1075797. doi: 10.3389/fmed.2023.1075797. PubMed PMID:36824605 PubMed Central PMC9941518.
Search PubMed

Affiliations & Other Activities

  • Clinician Scientist, Interdepartmental Division of Critical Care Medicine, St Michael’s Hospital
  • Clinician Scientist, Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR)
  • Assistant Professor, Interdepartmental Division of Critical Care Medicine, St. Michael’s Hospital
  • Chair, Medical Surgical ICU Knowledge Translation Committee, St. Michael’s Hospital
  • Organizing Member, Critical Care Continuing Medical Education Committee, St. Michael’s Hospital
  • Member, Organ Donation and Transplantation Committee, St. Michael’s Hospital
  • Certification (critical care), University of Western Ontario
  • Member, ACCADEMY (McMaster University)
  • Member, Canadian Critical Care Trials Group
  • Reviewer for several critical care and respirology journals