Newsletter July 2021: Intensive and Critical Care Take Centre Stage at the 17th World Congress of Anaesthesiologists

Daniela Filipescu

With 24 different scientific tracks, each led by global experts, the 17th World Congress of Anaesthesiologists has something for every ESAIC member. Reading the newly released WCA scientific programme it is noticeable how much of the agenda, training and networking opportunities relate to Intensive and Critical Care Medicine (ICCM). Join us from the 1st to the 5th of September and be part of this extraordinary learning experience.

The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the absolute importance of ICCM, a pillar of our speciality, for each and every healthcare system. Anaesthesiologists around the world have led the critical care management of COVID-19 patients, both in and out of the Intensive Care Unit (ICU). One only has to recall the anaesthesiologist featured on the cover of Time Magazine’s 2020 special on “Heroes of the Frontline” to see how mainstream ICCM is becoming among the general public.

Anaesthesiology and intensive care medicine are intricate medical fields that share a common base of physiological and pathophysiological knowledge, that address together various critical medical situations, and that is focused on patient safety.

In some countries, ICCM has separated into an independent speciality, however, this is not the case in many parts of the world. Some countries do have separate societies for intensive care or critical care medicine, but most members in these separate societies still identify as anaesthesiologists. At the ESAIC, the intensive care pillar of our speciality is clearly evidenced by its incorporation into our name in 2020. The WFSA has also prioritised it by creating an ICCM Committee. The initial focus of this committee has been on managing COVID-19, but its long-term aim is to improve pre and post-operative care for acute life-threatening illnesses and also for those critically ill patients not needing operative care.

The intensive and critical care component of the WCA comes from the perspective of educating and enabling delegates to provide the optimal care for critically ill patients. The WCA programme includes presentations, learning sessions on different aspects of ICCM, including all forms of life support techniques, invasive monitoring and treatments, resuscitation, and end-of-life care. Sessions include:

  •  Acute respiratory failure
  • What is new in critical care – from burns through to the neurological.
  • COVID-19 – critical care throughout the pandemic: experience-based vs. evidence-based
  • CPR and critical emergency medicine
  • Initial management of the septic patient
  • The ICU of tomorrow
  • Ultrasound in anaesthesia, critical and emergency care.

Alongside the comprehensive scientific programme, there are a series of interactive Meet the Expert sessions and Problem-Based Learning Discussions (PBLD) in which delegates discuss approaches for up to 10 different clinical scenarios based on a given subject area, including ICCM.

The scientific programme also includes sessions related to other fields of continuous interest within anaesthesiology, such as safe medical training through simulation, patient safety and gender equity.

In light of the ongoing impact of COVID-19, the 17th WCA will be entirely virtual. Moving online for the first time provides an exciting opportunity to ensure that WCA 2021 is the most accessible gathering of its kind. For those who have never been able to travel to a WCA this online format opens up the possibility of attending. The virtual platform provides unique opportunities to meet, collaborate and share experiences with a truly worldwide network of anaesthesiologists and intensivists.

In addition, National Member Societies can apply to have a free-of-charge virtual booth at the Global Anaesthesia Village at which they can promote the work of their society to all delegates. Further information about the WCA including registration and the Global Anaesthesia Village is available through WCA2021.org.


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Read More of our special newsletter covering our virtual congress 2020.

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