Charles Marc Samama | Chair Scientific Committee
A record: 6637 participants excluding industry attended Euroanaesthesia 2015 in Berlin from 30 May to 2 June! The ESA annual congress is now the second largest anaesthesiology meeting in the world. Clinicians and researchers from 104 countries shared their interest in anaesthesia, perioperative medicine, intensive care medicine, pain therapy, and emergency medicine. The programme counted 403 speakers, 156 sessions in 13 parallel rooms, 9 pre-congress courses, 20 refresher courses, 85 symposia, 5 workshops, 3 interactive sessions, 14 lectures, 6 meet-the-expert sessions, 12 pro-con debates. All sessions were well attended and highly appreciated. This has been The success of the congress is in great part due to the commitment of the ESA Board, the Scientific Committee with the 16 scientific sub-committees, several other ESA pivotal committees (Media, Quality and Safety, ESA Academy, etc), and, of course with the daily involvement and support of the Secretariat.
Professor Isabelle Murat, former head of Anaesthesia and Critical Care Medicine, Armand Trousseau Hospital, Paris, France was the invited speaker for the Sir Robert Macintosh Lecture. She delivered an enlightening speech “Should anaesthesiology move into subspecialties?” The conclusion of her speech must be especially kept in mind because it is fully in line with the ESA vision and missions: “Where are we and where are we going? Most surgical specialties are moving from subspecialties to nanospecialties. Facing these changes, anaesthesiologists should remain or should become perioperative physicians in order to decrease perioperative morbidity.”
Many prizes and grants were awarded during the Awards Ceremony, including the new Young Investigators Start-up Grant and a fourth industry supported prize. This year, ESA distributed over €200 000 in prizes, grants and awards to support research and clinical studies in anaesthesiology.
During the Opening ceremony, Professor Emery Brown, from the Harvard Medical School in Boston, discussed the brain, neuroscience and the future of anaesthesiology in his address to a captivated audience. The physicians in the room found themselves back at their school desks fascinated by the teacher. A pure moment of scientific delight. This type of keynote lecture is more than necessary to help us return to fundamentals.
Many key moments can also be retrained from the Scientific programme. For the first time, the programme was planned following learning tracks making it clearer for delegates to choose which sessions to attend. This system will be maintained next year. The 2015 Euroanaesthesia programme especially focused on:
– Intensive care (Sepsis: should we manage our patients differently?, The ICU of tomorrow, The anaesthesiologist and ICU physician in disasters, Damage control intensive care, Lung protective ventilation: from the ICU to the OR and back …)
– Patient safety issues (Office based-anaesthesia, Anaesthesia team approach to improve survival in critical situations, Not all the checklists are the same, choosing the best one that fits our needs, etc)
– Anaesthesia and Intensive Care in the elderly (The elderly brain, Changing perspectives in the elderly, Elderly in extremes…)
– New developments in anaesthesia (New drugs, Lipid resuscitation: do or don’t?, Shortage of anaesthetic drugs, Anticough medications provide cross allergies with NMBAs, Should nitrous oxide be banned from the operating room?, …)
– Perioperative medicine (Multimodal pharmacological concepts perioperatively: does it make sense?, Improving perioperative outcomes , Monitoring cognitive function in the perioperative setting, …)
– Emergency medicine, pain, ethics, and many other topics of interest were also addressed.
For the first time at Euroanaesthesia, abstracts were shown in electronic format. 1263 e-posters were presented during 125 abstract sessions. Some fine tuning is still needed but most of the presenters were happy. This new way to discuss Science was highly appreciated, the electronic format allowing the use of new pedagogic tools.
Recent ongoing studies issued from the ESA Clinical Trial Network were also presented by the Research Committee with very promising data to come, pending the size of these trials and the quality of the Network. These sessions are highly motivating for young researchers.
Finally, the Exhibition was a big success, one of the largest ones, with 110 companies presenting state of the art equipment and newest techniques, the latest products, services and technologies during the busy trade exhibition. Many well-attended lunchtime industry organised symposia are testimony that academia and industry can and must continue working side by side.