From the chief editor: We are pleased to include in this issue, as usual at the end of each year, some reports coming from the ESA scientific subcommittees. We would like to thank all the members of all the subcommittees for their energetic activity all over the year. Special thanks go to those committees which sent their reports to be published in this issue of our Newsletter.
Scientific Subcommittee 3: regional anaesthesia – annual report
Regional anaesthesia, a subspecialty relevant to most anaesthetists’ daily practice, encompasses both neuraxial and peripheral nerve blocks. There has been an increasing move over recent years towards more peripheral and fascial plane blocks in order to avoid the side effects and rare risks of central neuraxial techniques. Nevertheless we are keen to maintain interest in both central and peripheral techniques, and currently organise joint sessions with other ESA subcommittees in order to cater to a wide audience.
The advent of ultrasound (US) guidance has led to renewed interest in regional anaesthesia. Overall the US is associated with improved success rates though conversely not all complications are reduced by using US. Adequate education and training, both for novices and existing specialists learning this new skill, remains vital to successfully implement ultrasound guided regional anaesthesia into clinical practice. A major current trend, and also a source of debate, is the development of several new fascial plane blocks. This is just one example of a very exciting topic within our subspecialty.
Within the time constraints of each year, we strive to design a diverse scientific programme delivered by world-class speakers who are experts in their field. We also organise the well-received annual hands-on Ultrasound Guided Regional Anaesthesia workshop. This has recently been expanded to accommodate a greater number of participants and is organised by expert centres in Europe on a rotational basis. The sessions this year were organised by the “Austrian team” that included as instructors a great number of pioneers and experts in both regional anaesthesia and anatomy such as Georg Feigl, Gerhard Fritsch, Manfred Greher, and Lukas Kirchmair. We were also very pleased to welcome Matthias Desmet, Gabriella Iohom, Brian Kinirons, Kariem El-Boghdadly, and Morné Wolmarans, among others, who contributed to the large success of the meeting.
The current composition of the subcommittee enjoys a balanced geographical representation. Clearly, interest in the advancement of the field of regional anaesthesia is the common denominator.
Eric Albrecht is Attending Anaesthetist at the Lausanne University Hospital in Switzerland and is the Program Director of Regional Anaesthesia. He is the main author of an e-book entitled “The Book of Ultrasound-guided Regional Anesthesia” available on Amazon, Google play and iTunes. His field of research includes meta-analyses and prospective trials on acute postoperative pain, regional procedures, and sleep apnoea syndrome.
Alan Macfarlaneis a consultant anaesthetist in Glasgow Royal Infirmary, UK. He trained in Toronto as well as the West of Scotland and is currently treasurer of Regional Anaesthesia UK (RA-UK). He is an Honorary Clinical Associate Professor at the University of Glasgow, on the Associate Editorial Board of the BJA, an Editor of BJA Education and also on the EDRA board. His research interest is the effect of regional anaesthesia on longer-term outcomes, and in particular the effect on the function and success of arteriovenous fistulae.
Luc Sermeusis attending anaesthetist at the Antwerp University Hospital and consultant at the University of Antwerp, Belgium. His clinical expertise focuses on regional anaesthesia with ultrasound for peripheral nerve blocks as well as neuraxial blocks. His field of research (PhD) includes peripheral nerve blocks with ultrasound and the neurosensory effects of local anaesthetics.
Tatiana Sidiropoulouis associate professor of anesthesiology at the University of Athens, Greece and attending anaesthetist at the Attikon University Hospital. Her clinical expertise and field of research focuses on peripheral and central nerve blocks for orthopedic and thoracic surgery.
You are encouraged to take an active part in the work of this subcommittee by
- applying to become a member or chair when a vacancy arises, or by
- simply submitting a formal proposal to the ESA for a topic of discussion at one of the next Euroanaesthesia congresses.
We are all really looking forward to engaging with you!