External Serious Adverse Event / Unanticipated Problem

For the most up to date information on REB operations during the COVID-19 pandemic, please see the REB COVID-19 Information and Updates page.

A serious, unexpected and related or possibly related adverse event (SAE) is an event experienced by a research participant enrolled by the investigator(s) at other centres outside the jurisdiction of the Unity Health Toronto Research Ethics Board (REB) (e.g. the research participant is enrolled at an external site in a multi-centre trial in which a Unity Health site is also a participating site). 

An unanticipated problem (UP) is any incident, experience, outcome that meets all the following criteria: unexpected in relation to the research and/or patient population and related or possibly related to participation in the research and points to increased risk/harm to the research participant.

All external serious adverse events or unanticipated problems must be reported to the REB within 15 days of the study team’s awareness of the event/report.

  • Step 1: Complete the external SAE reporting form, with an original signature of the Unity Health Lead Applicant. In lieu of an original signature, the submission email can be sent by the PI or by a research team member with the PI cc’d.
  • Step 2: Submit an electronic copy of the complete submission to researchethics@smh.ca, with the subject line “REB <REB Number> – External SAE”Incomplete submissions will be returned to the submitter.
  • Step 3: The submission will be reviewed by the REB.
  • Step 4: A copy of the form signed by the Chair or designee will be sent to the study team via email. 

Not sure if you need to submit a report to the REB? Use the quick reference tool for reporting SAEs / UPs

For more details, read the guidelines for reporting serious adverse events / unanticipated problems.

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