Dr. John Fitz-Clarke







Dalhousie University



Dr. Fitz-Clarke is an emergency physician and biomedical engineer based in Halifax, Canada. He studied mechanical engineering at the University of British Columbia followed by a master’s degree in applied fluid dynamics, then obtained his MD degree and PhD in cardiac electrophysiology from Dalhousie University. His research experience includes high-resolution ECG analysis, electrical mapping of ventricular fibrillation, and cardiovascular physiology of human breath-hold diving.


He studies quantitative physiology of drowning and resuscitation, often examining old problems in a new light. He runs a small private lab where I evaluate resuscitation devices and tinker with bench-top apparatus for studying gas flow and circulation. He developed a whole-body computer simulation to study optimal resuscitation. Current projects focus on rescue ventilation, gastric inflation, and oxygen delivery during CPR. Some results were presented at drowning conferences in Penang, Vancouver, and Durban.


He was a lifeguard for the City of Vancouver during my student years, which inspired interest in medicine. He has been a diving medicine consultant and event physician for world free diving competitions. It is a privilege to be involved with ILS and interact with many colleagues on important issues in global lifesaving.


Selected Publications


Fitz-Clarke JR. Effect of tidal volume on gas exchange during rescue ventilation. Respiratory Physiology and Neurobiology. 2020; 273:103335 https://doi.org/10.1016/j.resp.2019.103335


Fitz-Clarke JR. Fast or slow rescue ventilation: a predictive model of gastric inflation. Respiratory Care. 2018; 63(5):502-509. https://doi.org/10.4187/respcare.05620


Fitz-Clarke JR. Breath-hold diving. Comprehensive Physiology. 2018; 8(2):585-630.