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In memory of Dr. Brian Kavanagh

Published: Fri 12 Jul 2019
It is with sadness that we share the news that Dr. Brian Kavanagh passed away on June 15, 2019. Brian had been unwell over recent months and his passing is a monumental loss to the Hospital for Sick Children, the University of Toronto and the field of critical care worldwide. 

Staff Physician and Geoff Barker Chair in Pediatric Critical Care Medicine, at the Hospital for Sick Children, Toronto

Senior Scientist, Translational Medicine, Research Institute, The Hospital for Sick Children, Toronto

Professor of Anaesthesia, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, Canada

It is with sadness that we share the news that Dr. Brian Kavanagh passed away on June 15, 2019. Brian had been unwell over recent months and his passing is a monumental loss to the Hospital for Sick Children, the University of Toronto and the field of critical care worldwide. 

Brian graduated from University College Dublin (Ireland) in 1985. Following residency in Internal Medicine in Dublin and in Anaesthesia (residency and fellowship) in Toronto, he trained in Critical Care Medicine in Stanford. He returned to the Toronto General Hospital in 1994 and in 1999 moved to SickKids where he was a clinician-scientist and held the Dr. Geoffrey Barker Chair in Critical Care Medicine. His laboratory investigated mechanisms of ventilator-induced lung injury and the actions of carbon dioxide in the lung. In 2017 he completed his two terms as Chair, Department of Anesthesia, University of Toronto. Brian was the chair of the Critical Care Canada Forum; an associate editor (Critical Care) and an executive editor (Anesthesiology). In June 2019, he received the very high distinction of being awarded a Tier 1 Canada Research Chair in Acute Lung Injury.

Brian was a superb clinician, researcher and educator, paying attention to process and detail, making sure critical problems were understood clearly and precisely. This is well demonstrated in his insightful Risky Business talk on the application of guidelines and protocols to improve patient safety and quality.