Report from the Scientific Sub-Committee Paediatric Anaesthesia (SSC5) European Society of Anaesthesiology (ESA)

Report from the Scientific Sub-Committee Paediatric Anaesthesia (SSC5) European Society of Anaesthesiology (ESA)

  • Issue 73

Karin Becke (Chair), Nicola Disma (next Chair), Thomas Engelhardt, Ignacio Galvez, Laszlo Vutskits, Tom Giedsing Hansen (EuroSTAR); Per-Arne Lönnqvist (ESPA representative)

The ESA Scientific Sub-Committee Paediatric Anaesthesia (SSC5) is untiringly continuing its pathway in strict collaboration with the European Society for Paediatric Anaesthesia (ESPA), which is now a specialist society of ESA.

The main gaol for the SSC5 remains quality and safety in paediatric anaesthesia and this can be achieved through research, education, and guidelines.

Research (ESA-Clinical Trial Network)

A major achievement was the ESA-sponsored completion of the APRICOT study,1 a prospective multicentre observational study in 261 hospitals in Europe on the incidence of severe critical events in paediatric anaesthesiology. Based on this large cohort study we have now a better idea of the incidence of severe critical events in children across Europe (5.2%) and the risk factors, as well as epidemiology in paediatric anaesthesia and clinical practice throughout Europe. APRICOT results will offer the basis for future interventional trials, as well as international registries designed for specific conditions (difficult airways, cardiac arrest, etc.).

The NECTARINE Study (NEonate-Children sTudy of Anaesthesia pRactice IN Europe) is the other prospective on-going cohort study. It is focussed on a very fragile population: neonates and infants. More than 5,700 neonates and infants have been recruited, and we are aiming for cleaning the database and starting the analysis of data soon. Hopefully by Autumn 2018 the paper will come out!

Genoa (Italy) Conference 2017

In June 2017, researchers and clinicians from all over the world met in Genoa, Italy, for the Second International Conference on Paediatric Anaesthesia and Neurotoxicity. The conference, under the lead of Nicola Disma and Andrew Davidson, was aimed to meet the option leaders in the field of neonatal and paediatric anaesthesia and neuroplasticity, which is defined as the complex integration between neurotoxicity and neuroprotection. Researchers presented results or preliminary data from the ongoing projects, and established the bases for future collaborative trials and projects. The two major international organizations were SmartTots (funded by the FDA) and EuroStar (funded by the European Society of Anaesthesiology). A summary of the meeting will be published soon.

Euroanaesthesia 2018 Copenhagen

The next ESA Congress will be held in Copenhagen, 1-4 June 2018. The paediatric anaesthesia community will be pretty much involved with pre-congress courses, workshops, pro and con debates, case-based discussion, and symposiums.

Pre-Congress courses

‘Out of Apricot’. Based on the recent achievements from the Apricot study, we are planning to run a pre-Congress course of critical events in paediatric anaesthesia: Prevention, early identification and treatment (Directors Nicola Disma and Francis Veyckemans). This will be mainly theoretical, open to up 100 attendees, with a lot of interaction. Those interested in paediatric anaesthesia are welcome to attend and have the opportunity to increase their knowledge in identifying and promptly treating severe critical events.

‘Advanced use of ultrasounds in children’. Ultrasound is becoming routinely used in daily clinical practice. The new and re-designed course is intended to discuss the use of ultrasound in children. In particular, the advanced use of ultrasound for vascular access and the identification of early and late complications will be presented. Moreover, an extra session will be focussed on lung ultrasound in children. Five afternoon workstations will provide opportunities to practice on models and phantoms, but also to address specific questions to the faculty. You can’t miss this course!


  • The annual ESA/ESPA Symposium will be based on the ‘best paediatric anaesthesia practice’ with special focus on upper airway infections, techniques for anaesthesia induction, and the current evidence for the use of muscle relaxant in children.
  • A refresher course on intraoperative ventilation in neonates, infants, and children.
  • An update on the Clinical Trial Networks, Apricot and Nectarine, and the status of the art on anaesthetic agents and long-term neurological outcomes.
  • A symposium on perioperative medicine aimed at addressing relevant issues on perioperative medicine in paediatric anaesthesia, new guidelines on preoperative fasting and risk factors, and prevention and treatment of PONV.
  • Finally, the best articles that can impact our daily practice will be presented and discussed.

SSC5 is aimed to offer a great platform between pre-congress courses, symposiums, and lectures during the ESA Congress in 2018. But this is only part of the learning sessions offered, as we expect to receive a great number of submitted abstracts. In fact, they represent the real achievements of recent research projects across five continents and the possibility of 360° of learning and future achievements.


  1. Habre W, Disma N, Virag K, et al. Anaesthesia PRactice In Children Observational Trial: a prospective multicentre observational study in 261 hospitals in Europe, Lancet Resp Med. 2017;5:412-25.