Why he’s a 2019 Top 40 Under 40: He empowers people in the medical field.
Matthew Douma believes anyone can help save a life. But you won’t learn the methods he promotes in typical first aid classes. By leading an online-based, international resuscitation science collaborative, he seeks to create a community of people who can provide and teach aid where conventional methods fail.
“Whether it’s a man bleeding out in a parking lot, or a 38-year-old woman having a cardiac arrest in a mall… people often become bystanders. We want to turn them into rescuers,” says Douma, who graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing from the University of the Fraser Valley.
Seven years ago, Douma witnessed an incident that proved there was a huge research gap in resuscitation science that was costing people their lives. In an Edmonton parking lot, he came across a man bleeding out from gunshots to the abdomen, pelvis and thigh. Using an external aortic compression technique that he’d learned during his pre-deployment training with UNICEF, Douma kept the man alive until paramedics arrived. But the paramedics couldn’t perform the same technique — and the man died in the hospital.
The problem was, the technique wasn’t commonly taught in Canada. His solution? Assembling a team of researchers who are committed to spreading the word — to anyone who will listen. “We try to make our research as accessible as possible… to anyone with an internet connection,” says Douma.
Now, his work is not only recognized nationwide — his team has collaborated with organizations in nine countries, bringing their research to over 100 publications worldwide.
If you can get vaccinated before the end of summer, will you consider going on vacation?
19%In Alberta only
50%Rest of Canada
14%A far-flung adventure
10% Staying at home
This article appears in the November 2019 issue of Avenue Edmonton.