• Wensley, David


    Investigator, BC Children's Hospital
    Clinical Professor, Department of Pediatrics - Critical Care & Respiratory Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, University of British Columbia

    Degrees / Designations
    Primary Area of Research
    Evidence to Innovation
    Secondary Area(s) of Research
    Lab Phone
    Mailing Address

    BC Children's Hospital
    Room 1C31A
    4480 Oak Street 
    Vancouver, BC  V6H 3V4

    Affiliate Websites
    Research Areas
    • Pediatric Critical Care and Respiratory Medicine 
    • Information Technology
    • Health Care Monitoring and Utilization
    My interest is in improving care for critically ill children mainly with respiratory problems and utilizing emerging technologies. 

    I have managed an international discussion forum for health care professionals interested in pediatric lung diseases for 20 years. 

    I am developing mobile applications to improve the prescribing of drugs for children. 

    I am working on improving in-hospital care of children using standardized tools to provide early warning of changes in their conditions so that they can be treated before they deteriorate. 

    I have also utilized technology to provide access for children to simple diagnostic tests (oximetry) in their home to assess breathing disorders during sleep and in the developing world to provide access to oximetry in the diagnosis of pneumonia.

    Current Projects
    The development and use of a cell phone application to improve the prescribing of drugs:

    As part of our quality assurance process in the intensive care unit it was clear that in this complex environment, drug errors are a common problem. Easy access for all health care professionals to standard resources for prescribing and checking drugs was not available. We are therefore developing a mobile computing application to standardize prescribing of drugs and will test the effect of this, hoping to reduce the number of errors in drug administration in the intensive care unit.

    The use of early warning systems to prevent deterioration in hospitalized children: 

    Children admitted to hospital occasionally deteriorate quickly requiring admission to the intensive care unit. In my work with the Canadian Critical Care Trials Group, I have been involved in a multicenter trail evaluating a standardized tool to provide an early warning of deterioration in hospitalized children. The current trial is evaluating this in tertiary Pediatric hospitals, but we are hoping to test it in a regional setting in all levels of hospitals.

    Selected Publications

    Willems A, et al. Pediatric Acute Lung Injury and Sepsis Investigators (PALISI) Network. Comparison of two red-cell transfusion strategies after pediatric cardiac surgery: a subgroup analysis. Crit Care Med. 2010 Feb;38(2):649-56.

    Menon K, et al. A prospective multicenter study of adrenal function in critically ill children Am J Respir Crit Care Med. 2010 Jul 15;182(2):246-51. Epub 2010 Mar 18. (Participating Site Investigator) 

    Gauvin F, et al. Association between length of storage of transfused red blood cells and multiple organ dysfunction syndrome in pediatric intensive care patients. Transfusion. 2010 Sep;50(9):1902-13. doi: 10.1111/j.1537-2995.2010.02661.x. (Participating Site Investigator)

    Parshuram CS, et al. Multicentre validation of the bedside paediatric early warning system score: a severity of illness score to detect evolving critical illness in hospitalised children. Crit Care. 2011 Aug 3;15(4):R184.


    Calfactant for Acute Lung Injury $100,000 April 2008 - April 2010 D. Willson (PI) D. Wensley (Local PI)

    Young Traumatic Brain Injury Study $60,000 May 2008 - January 2010 A. Guerguerian (PI) D. Wensley (Local PI)

    Evaluating processes of care & the outcomes of children in hospital (EPOCH). $600,000 Jan2009 – Dec 2014 C Parshuram (PI) D. Wensley (Local PI)

    Age of Blood Study (ABLE) $200,000 Sep 2013 - Sep 2015 M. Tucci (PI) D. Wensley (Local PI)

    Honours & Awards
    Research Group Members