Dr Andrew Rhodes
Chair, Division of Scientific
Dr. Rhodes previews the interaction, learning and dissemination of scientific knowledge offered by the ESICM’s annual Congress in September.
This year, the 19th annual congress of the European Society of Intensive Care Medicine (ESICM) will take place at the Barcelona International Convention Centre (CCIB) from the 24th to the 27th of September. The motto and theme for this year’s meeting is ‘Global challenges; patient centred solutions’. The meeting will be an exciting opportunity to catch up on research, science and educational matters relating to intensive care and emergency medicine.
The ESICM annual congress has grown in popularity and stature over recent years. It is now consistently one of the biggest critical care meetings in the world. The meeting is now so popular that it has outgrown many of the smaller congress centres, and this is the reason it is using the CCIB. The CCIB is a brand new, state of the art, convention centre that should enable ESICM to host the meeting in the most modern of environments, right in the centre of Barcelona. Delegates will have the opportunity to enjoy the science and education of the congress, as well as sample the social delights of this exciting and cosmopolitan city.
This meeting hopes to bring the best of science and education together in a format that will prove to be stimulating for our attendees. The Congress Committee, which is derived from the Sections of the Society, seeks to improve on previous years’ meetings and ensure the overall quality of what is presented. As in previous years, there are a number of different session formats that should cater for all tastes. Original research will be presented either as an oral presentation or around a poster board, with discussion from suitable experts in the field. ‘State of the art’ thematic sessions will present current thoughts on all major topics. We also have a ‘Continuing Professional Development’ (CPD) track that is aimed at trainees taking the European Diploma in Intensive Care (EDIC) exam or specialists aiming to update themselves on a particular topic. In recent years, new sessions have been introduced, discussing clinical challenges and the core competencies that are deemed necessary to be a practicing clinician in intensive care. The ESICM has a number of educational tools that it is deservedly proud of.
These include the distance learning programme, Patient-centred Acute Care Training (PACT), and the international harmonization programme CoBaTrICE (Competency-Based Training in Intensive Care in Europe). Both of these will be integrated into the programme in a number of formats, both to demonstrate their utility and to improve the quality of the sessions.
One of the main aims of the meeting is the advancement of cutting-edge research related to intensive care. Much of the programme is, therefore, available for researchers to present their work; over the last years we have consistently had over 1,000 abstract submissions! This is a higher amount of original papers submitted than any other critical care meeting. These original presentations are crucial to disseminate new research, for researchers to get peer review and debate their work, and also for young researchers to learn how to present their work. These sessions are chaired and directed by senior researchers, who help their junior colleagues present, discuss and debate the work. We don’t just encourage interaction; we make it happen.
As in previous years, the Congress will be preceded by a number of postgraduate, educational courses. These include a Fundamental Critical Care Support (FCCS) instructors’ course and a postgraduate course on major disasters: readiness and responsiveness. Other courses include infection and sepsis, neurointensive care, weaning from mechanical ventilation, peri-operative cardiac intensive care and echocardiography for intensivists. Some of those postgraduate courses also include hands-on workshops. These are always extremely popular and usually over-subscribed. Pre-booking is essential.
This year, there will be more thematic sessions covering more topics than ever before. It is anticipated that there will be 5,000 delegates instructed by over 200 international experts. This year’s meeting has already attracted more industry support than before, and the trade exhibition is likely to be ESICM’s most extensive ever. All in all, this meeting is too good to miss. Mark the dates in your diary now! We look forward to meeting with you in Barcelona.