The European Board of Anaesthesiology (EBA) wishes to thank all anaesthesiologists and the members of staff from all the other UEMS healthcare disciplines who during these hard days of SARS-CoV-2 pandemic, have worked in teams above and beyond the call of duty to care for an unprecedentedly large number of very sick patients in hospitals and ICUs throughout Europe. We would similarly like to thank all the nursing staff and trainees for their outstanding contribution to this heroic team effort. It is thought that the pandemic peak has passed but we must all keep vigilant and prepared whilst we restart the routine care of our patients in a manner safe for all of us.
This SARS-CoV-2 pandemic has again highlighted the anaesthesiologists’ central role as a leader in the hospital’s organization and decision-making and our responsibility in the care of the critically ill patient.
The knowledge, skills and competences acquired and developed, fulfilling the European Training Requirement in Anaesthesiology, and our comprehensive approach in treating patients as a whole has allowed us to successfully manage COVID-19 patients throughout: from emergency triage to ICUs, from critical emergency treatment to operating theatres and then recovery. It was also a matter of involvement, not only the skills. We have assisted patients treated with noninvasive and invasive ventilation in emergency rooms and wards, when necessary; we have promptly intubated them and continued their monitoring, ventilation and extracorporeal organs support as intensivists in ICU’s, often increased in number by transforming PACUs and ORs into ICU beds. We have then followed up those patients in the sub-intensive care facilities and have delivered pain service treatment and palliative care when appropriate.
As some clinical activities can never be stopped even during a pandemic (obstetric analgesia and anaesthesia, sedation, and emergency surgical care for both COVID and non-COVID patients), anaesthesiologists have played an essential role that cannot be forgotten or overlooked.
Throughout this period of unprecedented clinical activity working in unfamiliar and difficult circumstances wearing PPE and with shortages of many supplies anaesthesiologists have made innovative adaptations to keep the patients and their fellow staff as safe as possible. It has been a very stressful time for everyone involved. Some anaesthesiologists have caught the virus and others have made personal sacrifices to keep working but we have been encouraged by the levels of support colleagues have been giving each other to recover from the aftermath.
Anaesthesia Departments have demonstrated during this pandemic a great capacity to adapt day by day to an evolving situation, converting and expanding ICUs, facilitating the use of locations as PACU or operating theatres, reallocating human resources, and working together with the objective of taking care of whoever needs intensive care, wherever they are. We emphasised the meaning of teamwork by bringing many specialities together all working for the best outcome of the patients illustrating one of the major strengths of Anaesthesiology. All anaesthesiologists in Europe should be proud of our clinical commitment and achievement and also our contribution to the research aimed at a better understanding of this completely new disease.
Working in emergency rooms, operating theatres, ICUs and wards anesthesiologists have been the backbone of the hospitals, playing a pivotal role in saving many patients lives. In proud recognition of this magnificent response, the EBA wishes to show its respect and gratitude to all our fellow anaesthesiologists and UEMS colleagues.
Thank you and very well done.
Read the full original letter here – EBA Thanks