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suttonr [at]
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3401 Civic Center Blvd
Philadelphia, PA 19104
United States

Research Topics
Robert Sutton MD, MSCE, FAAP, FCCM
Robert M. Sutton
Attending Physician, Pediatric Critical Care Medicine

Dr. Sutton is an internationally recognized expert in pediatric cardiac arrest. His career focus is on developing and evaluating novel techniques and devices to improve the care delivered during in-hospital resuscitation attempts.



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As co-director of the Research Institute’s Center for Resuscitation Science, Dr. Sutton develops and evaluates novel interventions, both educational and technological, aimed to improve cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) performance and pediatric cardiac arrest outcomes.

He is an internationally recognized expert in the field of pediatric resuscitation as evidenced by more than 100 peer-reviewed scientific publications, NIH funding, his appointment to numerous national and international committees and task forces, and authorship of several national American Heart Association (AHA) CPR guideline documents used to train millions of providers from around the world. He has been awarded Fellowship in the American Academy of Pediatrics and the American College of Critical Care Medicine.

Dr. Sutton’s scientific body of work is credited with the following:

  • He is responsible for defining evidenced-based pediatric CPR targets for chest compression depth, compression rate, and CPR ventilation rate. In short, CPR training programs around the world are teaching targets his science has discovered.
  • He is recognized as the leading expert on physiologic-directed CPR – that is, assessing and titrating resuscitation technique to a patient’s physiologic response to CPR. This body of work has essentially advanced pediatric CPR from an algorithmic to a personalized medicine approach. He led the large animal translational work in this area and subsequently co-led the clinical studies establishing the specific physiologic targets that providers should target during CPR to improve outcomes.
  • He was part of the research team that developed and evaluated point-of-care bedside CPR training, termed “Rolling Refreshers.” These brief (less than two-minute trainings) completed at the bedside in a trainee’s clinical care environment have revolutionized CPR training in the United States. Supported by Dr. Sutton’s clinical studies, the AHA now offers this type of CPR re-certification process.

Education and Training

BS, Duquesne University (Biology), 1998

MD, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine (Pediatrics), 2002

MSCE, University of Pennsylvania (Biostatistics), 2010

Titles and Academic Titles

Attending Physician, Pediatric Critical Care Medicine

Associate Professor of Anesthesia, Critical Care, and Pediatrics

Chair, Resuscitation Committee

Medical Lead, Preventing Codes Outside the ICU

Co-Director, Resuscitation Science Center

Chair, AHA National Get with the Guidelines-Resuscitation Pediatric Research Task Force

Professional Memberships

Society of Critical Care Medicine, 2004-

American Academy of Pediatrics, 2005-

Professional Awards

Alpha Omega Alpha, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, 2001

Richard L. Day Prize - Superior Inpatient Pediatrics, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, 2002

CPR Specialty Award, Society of Critical Care Medicine, 2009

Research Citation Finalist, Society of Critical Care Medicine, 2010

Education Specialty Award, Society of Critical Care Medicine, 2011

CPR Specialty Award, Society of Critical Care Medicine, 2012

CPR Specialty Award, Society of Critical Care Medicine, 2014

Annual Scientific Award, Society of Critical Care Medicine, 2015

Star Research Achievement Award, Society of Critical Care Medicine, 2016

Star Research Achievement Award, Society of Critical Care Medicine, 2018

Publication Highlights

Active Grants/Contracts

Improving Outcomes After Pediatric Cardiac Arrest (ICU-RESUS)

  • 04/01/2016-03/31/2021
  • The objective of this project is to determine if a novel patient physiology focused resuscitation care improvement bundle consisting of frequent point-of-care CPR training and interdisciplinary post-cardiac debriefings can improve pediatric survival outcomes in a multicenter effectiveness trial.
  • Sutton PI

Validation of Physiologic CPR Quality Using Noninvasive Waveform Analytics (CPR-NOVA)

  • 04/15/2019-02/28/2022
  • The objective of this application is to validate two noninvasive physiologic CPR quality monitors to improve CPR quality and outcomes of all children who suffer an arrest.
  • Sutton PI

Pulmonary Vasodilator Therapy During Resuscitation From Cardiac Arrest

  • 07/01/2017 – 06/30/2020
  • The goal of this randomized trial is to determine if inhaled nitric oxide can improve survival outcomes in a pediatric model of lipopolysaccharide induced shock.
  • Berg PI

Improving Pediatric Cardiac Arrest Survival and Neurologic Outcome (PiCASO)

  • 04/01/2019 – 03/31/2024
  • The objectives of this randomized trial are to work with a large animal model to 1) evaluate the effect of two different systolic blood pressure strategies (90mmHg vs. 110mmHg) during CPR, 2) further develop a new indication for a novel device that can noninvasively quantify blood flow and oxygenation in the brain, 3) investigate the role that mitochondria may play in the development of brain injury postcardiac arrest, and 4) test a promising new therapeutic to preserve cellular energy production.
  • Kilbaugh PI

Links of Interest