2014 ESA report presented to WFSA Council Meeting

2014 ESA report presented to WFSA Council Meeting

  • Issue 60

Prof. Daniela Filipescu | ESA President

ESA: our achievements so far and the real hope for the future

The ESA aims for the highest standards of practice and safety in anaesthesia, perioperative medicine, intensive care medicine, emergency medicine, and pain treatment through education, research and professional development throughout Europe.

By becoming the European regional section of the WFSA in July 2014, the ESA confirmed its wish to strengthen its relationships with other societies in order to enhance co-operation and ultimatly improve the standards and the visibility of our profession.

The ESA is comprised of personal and society Members. One significant change in 2014 was the implementation of the new by-laws which offer all colleagues who are a member of a national society the possibility to become an ESA Associate Member at no additional cost other than their national society membership fee. The ESA Associate Membership gives access to all information provided by the ESA including the European Journal of Anaesthesiology, Current Opinion in Anaesthesiology and Current Opinion in Critical Care Medicine. However, full membership provides voting rights, possibility to become a member of any ESA committee and apply to ESA grants.

In 2014, the ESA counted 4.656 Active members, 1.011 Affiliate members and no less than 16.628 Associate members, 39 National Societies and 7 Specialist Societies

The ESA is keen on strengthening the links with the national societies and the Associate Membership is definitely one of the tools. For better representation, the National Anaesthesiologists Societies Committee (NASC) is now composed of one representative for every national society (while in the past, only few of them were part of this committee). This is also thanks to our new by-laws.

The first meeting of this revamped NASC took place in March 2014 and Prof. Dan Longrois (France) was elected to chair it. One of its projects is to create a network of excellence gathering hospitals ready to exchange trainees, to train specialists and to conduct research.
Board-of-Part-II-Examiners-in-Warsaw,-PolandA new Council, which represents the elected national representatives of personal members in individual European countries was also elected beginning of 2014. It counts 34 members and now also includes 2 trainee representatives. This Council elected Dr Zeev Goldik as President-Elect for the mandate 2016-2017 and re-elected Dr Walid Habre and Prof. Andreas Sandner-Kiesling as members of the ESA Board.


ESA-Council-meeting-during-the-Focus-Meeting-Athens_2Photo: ESA Council meeting during the Focus Meeting on Perioperative Medicine: The Paediatric Patient – November 2014 – Athens

With the increasing number of activities and the change of Executive Manager in July 2014, the ESA Board had an intense year and currently works on strategic issues and on elaborating a roadmap for the coming years. The strategic priorities of the ESA are to harmonise clinical care throughout Europe and to bridge the gap between different countries in terms of patient safety culture through educational programmes, research and active involvement of national societies from all over Europe, building upon our established relationship with our traditional partners, the European Board of Anaesthesiology (EBA) and the World Federation of Societies of Anaesthesiology (WFSA).

The climax of 2014 was definitely the Euroanaesthesia congress which gathered almost 7,000 delegates (including industry) from 104 countries in the wonderful city of Stockholm. Euroanaesthesia is a unique opportunity to meet with peers, colleagues and friends. From buzzing committees taking this chance to meet to keynote lectures, from basic science courses to hands-on workshops, Euroanaesthesia is the event you cannot miss.

The success of Euroanaesthesia 2014 is due in first place to the tireless and dedicated work of Professor Stefan De Hert, the chair of the Scientific Committee, and the extensive cooperation and involvement of the members of the 19 ESA scientific subcommittees. The congress programme consisted of 350 speakers, 143 sessions in 12 parallel rooms, 7 pre-congress courses, 24 refresher courses, 78 symposia, 4 workshops, 13 lectures, 3 meet the expert sessions, 14 pro-con debates and the presentation of 881 abstracts from 49 countries.

Professor François Clergue honoured us by delivering the Sir Robert Macintosh Lecture. Addressing a packed hall, Professor Clergue elaborated upon on the improvements in postoperative mortality, the changing role of the anaesthesia team and staffing pressures. However, the major change in our discipline has come from the improvement in patient safety.

Sir Robert Macintosh Lecture delivered by Prof. François Clergue

The Euroanaesthesia 2015 scientific programme will be based on learning tracks. This is new and we hope will make the programme even more attractive. Come and celebrate with us ESA’s 10 year anniversary from 30 May to 2 June in Berlin.

ESA booth in at Euroanaesthesia 2014 

New activities are traditionally launched at Euroanaesthesia. The ESA Academy introduced the first peer-reviewed modules of the new ESA e-learning platform. The platform gives easy access to state-of-the art knowledge prepared by committee members and enables anaesthesiologists to remain up to date with rapidly growing medical information. You can log into this service via the ESA website for free.


ESA e-learning platform

In 2014 the European Diploma in Anaesthesiology and Intensive Care (EDAIC) celebrated its 30th Anniversary. Anaesthesiologists were the first to introduce a pan-European diploma, with the core aim of harmonising the quality of the education throughout Europe. EDAIC is recognised as a mark of excellence, making it a supra-national examination. It is constantly growing in term of centres, languages and applicants. In 2014 the European examination was offered in 49 centres, in 12 languages and was attended by more than 3000 candidates.


Photo: EDAIC Part II exam – Barcelona March 2014

13 countries in Europe have adopted the first part of the examination as mandatory for certifying prospective anaesthesiologists in their respective countries. EDAIC Part I examination was attended by 2335 participants in 32 countries on September 20. The pass rate was 66 %.

A special session dedicated to the evolution of the EDAIC and a celebratory reception were organised during Euroanaesthesia 2014. We extend our thanks and congratulations to the founders, the Examinations Committee, the examiners and hosts for making the EDAIC a great success.

The Online Assessment (OLA) became multilingual, too, being offered in 5 languages in 38 centres in Europe. In 2014, a total of 365 candidates applied to this computer-based examination.

To help candidates in preparation of the EDAIC examinations, by improving understanding and knowledge of different areas of basic science, the 3rd edition of the Basic Anaesthetic Course was organised in parallel with Euroanaesthesia. This 4-day course was attended by 68 trainees.

Basic-Sciences-Anaeshetic-Course-Photo: Basic Sciences Anaeshetic Course – Stockholm 2014

Implementing the Helsinki Declaration on Patient Safety in Anaesthesiology, which was signed or endorsed by more than 322 associations, including the American Society of Anaesthesiology in 2014, was and still is one of ESA’s priorities. Therefore, the ESA decided to organise a Master Course in Patient Safety held for the first time at Euroanaesthesia 2014. During the course which consisted of 5 modules the participants, physicians and nurses in anaesthesiology and intensive care medicine had the opportunity to learn and practice modern patient safety aspects, such as: analysing critical cases, applying Crisis Resource Management principles, how to debrief training cases and clinical situations in a team, reporting of critical incidents and implementation of effective actions on a system level.

The Patient Safety Task Force born from the Helsinki Declaration initiative and the Scientific Subcommittee on Patient Safety joined forces and resources and have officially merged to form the ESA Patient Safety and Quality Committee. The new committee will work closely with the NASC and will play a major role in the vision and undertakings of our society. The new committee will be launched during the 5th anniversary of the Helsinki Declaration on Patient Safety in Anaesthesiology which will be celebrated during Euroanaesthesia in Berlin. Many projects to increase patient safety throughout Europe and implement the Helsinki Declaration are in the pipeline.


The distribution of signatures/adoption/support of the Helsinki Declaration on Patients Safety in Anaesthesiology since the 2010 launch

Over the years, the ESA has increased and diversified its activities. The 2014 developments (non-exhaustive list) were:



  • Two 2 new studies APRICOT (Anaesthesia practice in children observational trial) and POPULAR (Post-operative pulmonary complications after use of muscle relaxants) were launched through the ESA Clinical Trial Network (CTN) which includes more than 500 centres in Europe.
  • This year ESA awarded €200,000 for 6 grants, from 50 applications: 2 research projects, 2 research support grants, 1 meta-analysis grant and a new one, the young investigator start-up grant. A new research prize sponsored by Baxter was also awarded, besides the established industry prize and grant from Draeger and Maquet.
  • The ESA-ESICM Outcome Measures Task Force published its work on the definitions of adverse outcome in EJA (Feb;32(2):88-105: Standards for definitions and use of outcome measures for clinical effectiveness research in perioperative medicine: European Perioperative Clinical Outcome (EPCO) definitions: A statement from the ESA-ESICM joint taskforce on perioperative outcome measures. Jammer I, Wickboldt N, Sander M, Smith A, Schultz MJ, Pelosi P, Leva B, Rhodes A, Hoeft A, Walder B, Chew MS, Pearse RM).
  • A Masterclass in statistics and research methodology was organised in Brussels


Photo: Masterclass in Statistics & Research methodology, September 2-4, Brussels


  • The2014 European Society of Cardiology/ European Society of Anaesthesiology guidelines on non-cardiac surgery: cardiovascular assessment and management were launched in August. The guidelines were published in both the European Heart Journal and the EJA. An EJA editorial summarising the most important news for the anaesthesiologists in these updated guidelines has been published, too.
  • The task F=forces on prevention of venous thromboembolism in anaesthesia and intensive care and the one for updating the guidelines on severe perioperative bleeding were established.
  • EJA : The European Journal of Anaesthesiology reached an impact factor of 3.011 and is now ranked 7th of 29 titles in Anaesthesiology


  • CEEA : The Committee for European Education in Anaesthesiology revised its programme of six courses and updated the list of regional centres.
  • HVTAP: The University of Health Sciences Kaunas Clinics, Lithuania was accredited by the Hospital Visiting and Training Accreditation Programme
  • TEP: the Trainee Exchange Programme (TEP) Committee selected 8 fellows from 25 candidates from 16 countries. They will spend 3 months visiting famous training centers in Europe
  • The Teach the Teachers Course: a new edition has been held in November, 10-14, in Athens. The course was attended by 25 participants from 13 countries.
  • A new Task Force on Intensive Care Medicine was formed with the aim of increasing the activities and the visibility of this field of our profession.
  • ESA donated 100 pulse oximeters through the Lifebox donation programme to Uzbekistan.
  • The first Focus Meeting on Perioperative Medicine (replacing the Autumn Meeting) took place in Athens in November 2014 with subject ‘The Paediatric Patient’. The scientific programme was organised together with the European Society of Paediatric Anaesthesiology (ESPA), the European Society of Paediatric Neonatal Intensive Care (ESPNIC) and the Hellenic Society of Anaesthesiologists. The foresight of the ESA to address the perioperative medicine in an official annual meeting and to collaborate in the elaboration of the programme with other specialist societies puts this area of our activity in the forefront of the future development of medicine and care as a whole. In the future, we will expand our focus on geriatric, cardiac and other special populations who benefit from multidisciplinary approach.   The 2015 Focus Meeting will take place on 13-14 Nov. 2015 in Nice with subject ‘The Cardiac Patient’.

All these achievements would not have been possible without the dedication of ESA volunteers, the support of ESA members and the help of the ESA Secretariat. The year 2015 promises to be equally busy and challenging, with many new exciting projects.

Prof. Daniela Filipescu

ESA President