For the first time in 2009, the Euroanaesthesia congress will be held in Milan, Italy, at the Milano Convention Centre (MIC). This meeting, the largest anaesthesiology congress in Europe, will again have a large programme of intensive care topics. It will be organised once more under the leadership of Professor Gernot Marx, recently appointed to the Chair of Intensive Care at the University of Aachen, Germany. Refresher courses on minimally invasive haemodynamic monitoring, nutritional support, and percutaneous tracheostomy will give updates on these very topical areas of this subspeciality. Importantly, particular attention will be paid in one refresher course (Schuerholz, Jena) to the management of the elderly critically ill patient: an ever-increasing challenge to acute medical practitioners.
Symposia have been organised on the treatment of sepsis; strategies for mechanical ventilation; and management of severe infection in the ICU. The challenging and topical subject of end-oflife decision making in the critically ill will be addressed from a religious as well as a clinical viewpoint. New end-of-life protocols, first developed in Liverpool, UK in conjunction with palliative care physicians, will be discussed by Lawrence McCrossan who has significant experience of this widely accepted approach to management of the dying.
An attempt will be made to assess the improvement of quality in intensive care, with different perspectives being presented from Spain, France, Germany, Italy and the UK. Workshops will consider the use of vasopressin in septic shock, and monitoring of ScvO2 in this condition.
The Resuscitation and Emergency Medicine Subcommittee of the SPC, chaired by Professor Bottinger (Cologne, Germany) have produced a programme that will also be of interest to intensivists. Trauma management in the emergency room, post-resuscitation care, and the causes of coma are all to be discussed in Milan. Very sick children will also be considered, with a refresher course on the management of children with brain injury (Orliaguet, Paris), and a symposium on challenging airway problems in this age group.
Perhaps the most interesting session for intensivists in Milan will be the one organised by the National Organising Committee. Chaired by the new President of the ESA, Paolo Pelosi (Milan), an update on mechanical ventilation in ALI/ARDS will undoubtedly attract much interest. For the world famous expert in this field, Luciano Gattinoni (also from Milan), will address the conference on controlled mechanical ventilation in ARDS. Get to this session early to be very sure of a seat! Every intensivist must hear this great man lecture at least once! Assisted mechanical ventilation and non-invasive ventilation will also be discussed in this session by two other major contributors to the field, Antonio Pesenti (Monza) and Giorgio Conti (Roma). I am sure that this session on Sunday, June 7th, at 10.30 AM, will set the standard for the whole conference. Our new President, who is also an expert in this field, will lecture on guidelines for postoperative ventilation support in another session as well.
Monitoring is an important aspect of managing the critically ill. New technologies in haemodynamic monitoring will be discussed in a workshop by Andreas Hoeft (Bonn, Germany), together with point-of-care laboratory monitoring (David Reich, New York), an ever-expanding area of our practice. World experts (Wouters, Belgium, and Guarracino, Italy) will also discuss the use of transoesophageal echocardiography and Guarracino and Arrowsmith (Cambridge, England) will lead a workshop to update mechanical support of the heart.
Neurocritical care will get much mention, with discussion of cerebral injury and inflammation, intracerebral haemorrhage and optimisation of cerebral blood flow after subarachnoid haemorrhage. Some interesting advice will also be available on conflict resolution between the patient's family and members of a healthcare team (Azoulay, Paris). So there is something for every intensivist in Milan in June (in addition to the excellent cuisine). I look forward to seeing you all again in this wonderful Italian city! (oh, and the shops...!)
This is the last year that I will be responsible for planning the scientific programme for Euroanaesthesia meetings. I am to be replaced by Professor Benedikt Pannen (Dusseldorf, Germany) in a few months' time, and he will give you details next year of the intensive care programme for Euroanaesthesia 2010 in Helsinki (June 12th – 15th). I wish him every success with this demanding but most enjoyable task, and trust that I will continue to see you all at Euroanaesthesia meetings.