Head, Department of Emergency Medicine University of British Columbia Faculty of Medicine
Academic Rank:
Primary Hospital:
work phone: 6048755242

Dr. Jim Christenson is an emergency physician at St. Paul’s Hospital and was appointed as Professor and Head of the Academic Department of Emergency Medicine at UBC in September 2010. He is keenly interested in developing a well connected community of emergency physicians across the province and in galvanizing the faculty in the Department to support and facilitate the best care possible in the 101 hospital emergency departments in British Columbia.

From 2005 to 2010 he was the Vice-President, Medical Programs for the Emergency and Health Services Commission (EHSC) and embraced the challenge of optimizing care in the prehospital emergency setting. A keen interest in the best clinical practice during resuscitation motivated involvement in the CPR Guidelines process and extensive volunteer work with the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada and the American Heart Association.

Dr. Christenson’s primary research interest is in resuscitation. He is the Principal Investigator for the BC Resuscitation Outcomes Consortium and has been involved in various aspects of cardiac arrest and trauma research for 25 years. The Resuscitation Outcomes Consortium is a network of 10 academic and prehospital/emergency care centers across North America. It is funded by the US National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute, the Canadian Institute for Circulatory and Respiratory Health and the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada. The Consortium continues to run clinical trials in promising new therapies in resuscitation and maintain registries in cardiac arrest and major trauma. As a result of an active focus on the quality of resuscitation, the chance of survival in BC from an out-of-hospital cardiac arrest has risen from 6.6% in 2006 to 14.2% in 2011. These improved outcomes mean that every year 150 more British Columbians survive sudden unexpected death than just a few years ago.

Dr. Christenson is committed to further increases in survival through improvements in the pre-hospital resuscitation and post-resuscitation phases of care across BC.



Recent Peer Reviewed Publications

Cheskes S, Schmicker RH, Verbeek PR, Salcido DD, Brown SP, Brooks S, Menegazzi JJ, Vaillancourt C, Powell J, May S, Berg RA, Sell R, Idris A, Kampp M, Schmidt T, Christenson J; Resuscitation Outcomes Consortium (ROC) investigators. The impact of peri-shock pause on survival from out-of-hospital shockable cardiac arrest during the Resuscitation Outcomes Consortium PRIMED trial. Resuscitation. 2014 85(3):336-42. (March); PMID:24513129

Frank X. Scheuermeyer, Grant Innes, Reza Pourvali, Chris Dewitt, Eric Grafstein, Claire Heslop, Jan MacPhee, John Ward, Brett Heilbron, Lorraine McGrath, Jim Christenson..(SA) Missed Opportunities for Appropriate Anticoagulation Among Emergency Department Patients With Uncomplicated Atrial Fibrillation or Flutter. Annals of Emergency Medicine 2013;62:557-565 (December) PMID: 23711880

Peter A. Meaney, Bentley J. Bobrow, Mary E. Mancini, Jim Christenson, Allan R. de Caen, Farhan Bhanji,  Benjamin S. Abella, Monica E. Kleinman, Dana P. Edelson, Robert A. Berg, Tom P. Aufderheide, Venu Menon, and Marion Leary on behalf of the CPR Quality Summit Investigators, the American Heart Association Emergency Cardiovascular Care Committee, and the Council on Cardiopulmonary, Critical Care, Perioperative and Resuscitation. CPR Quality: Improving Cardiac Resuscitation Outcomes Both Inside and Outside the Hospital: A Consensus Statement. Circulation. 2013;128:00-00 (online) http://circ.ahajournals.org/content/early/2013/06/25/CIR.0b013e31829d8654 (July)  PMID:2380110

Scheuermeyer F, Grafstein E, Stenstrom R, Christenson J, Heslop C, Heilbron B, McGrath L, Innes G. Safety and efficiency of calcium channel blockers versus beta-blockers for rate control in patients with atrial fibrillation and no acute underlying medical illness. Acad Emerg Med 2013;20:220-230 (CA) (March) PMID: 23517253

Frank Xavier Scheuermeyer, Eric Grafstein, Rob Stenstrom PhD, Grant Innes, Claire Heslop, M, Jan MacPhee, Reza Pourvali, Brett Heilbron, Lorraine McGrath, Jim Christenson. Thirty-Day and 1-Year Outcomes of Emergency Department Patients With Atrial Fibrillation and No Acute Underlying Medical Cause. Ann Emerg Med. 2012;60:755-765 (SA) (June) PMID: 22738681

Henry E. Wang, Daniel Szydlo, John Stouffer, Steve Lind, Jestin Carlson, Christian Vaillancourt, Gena Sears, Richard Verbeek, Raymond Fowler, Ahamed H. Idris, Karl Koenig, James Christenson, Anushirvan Minokadeh, Joseph Brandt, Thomas Ream, The ROC Investigators. Endotracheal intubation versus supraglottic airway insertion in out-of-hospital cardiac arrest. Resuscitation 2012; 83: 1061-1066 (CA) (September) PMID: 2266474

Cudnik, Michael; Yao, Jing; Andrusiek, Dug; Pennington, Sarah; Christenson, Jim; Murray, Alan. Does GIS derived transport time prediction reflect actual transport times in OHCA patients? (May) 2012 online for Academic Emergency Medicine

Frank Xavier Scheuermeyer, MD, MHSc, Grant Innes, MD, Eric Grafstein, MD, Marla Kiess, MD, Barb Boychuk, RN, Eugenia Yu, MSc, Daniel Kalla, MD, Jim Christenson, MD. Safety and Efficiency of a Chest Pain Diagnostic Algorithm With Selective Outpatient Stress Testing for Emergency Department Patients With Potential Ischemic Chest Pain. Annals of Emergency Medicine published online http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22221842 (January) 6, 2012 (SA) PMID# 22221842

Ian G. Stiell, MD; Siobhan P. Brown; James Christenson; Sheldon Cheskes; Graham Nichol; Judy Powell; Blair Bigham; Laurie J. Morrison; Jonathan Larsen; Erik Hess; Christian Vaillancourt; Daniel P. Davis; Clifton W. Callaway; the Resuscitation Outcomes Consortium (ROC) Investigators. What is the role of chest compression depth during out-of-hospital cardiac arrest resuscitation?. Crit Care Med (April) 2012 Vol. 40, No. 4 (CA) PMID:22202708

Christian Vaillancourt, MD; Norman Epstein, MD, Sheldon Cheskes, MD, Justin Maloney, MD, Ian G. Stiell, MD, James Christenson, MD, Andrew Affleck, MD, Andrew H. Travers, MD, Martin H. Osmond, MD, Patrick Forgie, ACP, Jason Slenys, ACP. CAEP position statement on bystander cardiopulmonary resuscitation. CJEM (September) 2011;13(5):339-346

Vaillancourt C., Emerson-Steward S., Christenson J., Andrusiek D., Powell J., Nichol G., Cheskes S., Aufderheide T.P., Berg R., Stiell I.G., and the Resuscitation Outcomes Consortium Investigators.: The Impact of Increased Chest Compression Fraction on Return of Spontaneous Circulation for Out-of-Hospital Cardiac Arrest Patients not in Ventricular Fibrillation. Resuscitation, (December 2011) Published electronically http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21763252  (doi:10.1016/j.resuscitation.2011.07.011) PMID: 21763252

Tom P. Aufderheide, M.D., Graham Nichol, M.D., Thomas D. Rea, M.D., Siobhan P. Brown, Ph.D., Brian G. Leroux, Ph.D., Paul E. Pepe, M.D., Peter J. Kudenchuk, M.D., Jim Christenson, M.D., Mohamud R. Daya, M.D., Paul Dorian, M.D., Clifton W. Callaway, M.D., Ph.D., Ahamed H. Idris, M.D., Douglas Andrusiek, M.Sc., Shannon W. Stephens, E.M.T.-P., David Hostler, Ph.D., Daniel P. Davis, M.D., James V. Dunford, M.D., Ronald G. Pirrallo, M.D., M.H.S.A., Ian G. Stiell, M.D., Catherine M. Clement, R.N., Alan Craig, M.S., Lois Van Ottingham, B.S.N., Terri A. Schmidt, M.D., Henry E. Wang, M.D., Myron L. Weisfeldt, M.D., Joseph P. Ornato, M.D., George Sopko, M.D., M.P.H., for the Resuscitation Outcomes Consortium (ROC) Investigators. A Trial of an Impedance Threshold Device in Out-of-Hospital Cardiac Arrest. N Engl J Med (September 2011);365:798-806. PMID:21879897

Ian G. Stiell, M.D., Graham Nichol, M.D., M.P.H., Brian G. Leroux, Ph.D., Thomas D. Rea, M.D., M.P.H., Joseph P. Ornato, M.D., Judy Powell, B.S.N., James Christenson, M.D., Clifton W. Callaway, M.D., Ph.D., Peter J. Kudenchuk, M.D., Tom P. Aufderheide, M.D., Ahamed H. Idris, M.D., Mohamud R. Daya, M.D., Henry E. Wang, M.D., Laurie J. Morrison, M.D., Daniel Davis, M.D., Douglas Andrusiek, M.Sc., Shannon Stephens, E.M.T.-P., Sheldon Cheskes, M.D., Robert H. Schmicker, M.S., Ray Fowler, M.D., Christian Vaillancourt, M.D., David Hostler, Ph.D., E.M.T.-P., Dana Zive, M.P.H., Ronald G. Pirrallo, M.D., M.H.S.A., Gary M. Vilke, M.D., George Sopko, M.D., and Myron Weisfeldt, M.D., for the ROC Investigators. Early versus Later Rhythm Analysis in Patients with Out-of-Hospital Cardiac Arrest.  N Engl J Med September 2011;365:787-97. PMID:21879896

Sheldon Cheskes, Robert H Schmicker, Jim Christenson, David D Salcido, Tom Rea, Judy Powell, Dana P. Edelson, Rebecca Sell, Susanne May, James J Menegazzi, Lois Van Ottingham, Michael Olsufka, Sarah Pennington, Jacob Simonini, Robert A Berg, Ian Stiell, Ahamed Idris, Blair Bigham, Laurie Morrison, and on behalf of the Resuscitation Outcomes Consortium (ROC) Investigators. Perishock Pause: An Independent Predictor of Survival From Out-of-Hospital Shockable Cardiac Arrest. Circulation June 2011;58-66 . PMID:2169049

Eileen M. Bulger, MD; Susanne May, PhD; Karen J. Brasel, MD; Martin Schreiber, MD; Jeffrey D. Kerby, MD; Samuel A. Tisherman, MD; Craig Newgard, MD; Arthur Slutsky, MD; Raul Coimbra, MD, PhD; Scott Emerson, MD; Joseph P. Minei, MD; Berit Bardarson, RN; Peter Kudenchuk, MD; Andrew Baker, MD; Jim Christenson, MD; Ahamed Idris, MD; Daniel Davis, MD; Timothy C. Fabian, MD; Tom P. Aufderheide, MD; Clifton Callaway, MD, PhD; Carolyn Williams, RN; Jane Banek; Christian Vaillancourt, MD; Rardi van Heest, MD; George Sopko, MD; J. Steven Hata, MD; David B. Hoyt, MD; for the ROC Investigators. Out-of-Hospital Hypertonic Resuscitation Following Severe Traumatic Brain Injury. A randomized controlled trial. JAMA. October 2010;304(13):1455-1464 (CA)  PMID:20924011

Grafstein E, Stenstrom R, Christenson J, Innes G, MacCormack R, Jackson C, Stothers K, Goetz T. A prospective randomized controlled trial comparing circumferential casting and splinting in displaced Colles fractures. Canadian Journal of Emergency Medicine. 2010 May;2(3):192-200. (CA)  PMID:20522283

Scheuermeyer FX, Christenson J, Innes G, Boychuk B, Yu E. Safety of assessment of patients with potential ischemic chest pain in an Emergency Department waiting room: A prospective comparative cohort study. Annals of Emergency Medicine May 23, 2010; published online. (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20576542 ) (SA) PMID:20576542

Hostler D, Thomas EG, Emerson SS, Christenson J, Stiell IG, Rittenberger JC, Gorman KR, Bigham BL, Callaway CW, Vilke GM, Beaudoin T, Cheskes S, Craig A, Davis DP, Reed A, Idris A, Nichol G; Resuscitation Outcomes Consortium Investigators.  Increased survival after EMS witnessed cardiac arrest: Observations from the Resuscitation Outcomes Consortium (ROC) Epistry-Cardiac arrest. Resuscitation 2010 Jul;81(7):826-30. (CA) PMID:20403656

Cudnik MT, Schmicker R, Vaillancourt C, Newgard CD, Christenson JM,  Davis DP,  Lowe RA, and the ROC Investigators. A geospatial assessment of transport distance and survival to discharge in out of hospital cardiac arrest patients: Implications for resuscitation centers.  Resuscitation May 2010;81(5): 518-523. (CA) PMID:20122779 Bradley SM, Gabriel EE, Aufderheide TP, Barnes R, Christenson J, Davis DP, Stiell EG, Nichol G and The Resuscitation Outcome Consortium Investigators. Survival increases with CPR by Emergency Medical Services before defibrillation in out-of-hospital ventricular fibrillation or ventricular tachycardia: Observations from the Resuscitation Outcomes Consortium.  Resuscitation February 2010; 81(2):155-62.PMID: 19969407 (CA) PMID:19969407