The 23rd Annual Congress of the European Society of Intensive Care Medicine held in Barcelona, Spain is one of the major intensive care meetings taking place in 2010. It features 10 parallel sessions including over 500 lectures, presentations, debates, round table discussions, tutorials and interactive educational sessions. Presentation of original research is one of the priorities of this series of congresses, as a result upwards of 1000 oral and poster presentations of unpublished research are on display.
One unique feature of this years' congress is the addition of the LIFE campaign. Besides positive patient outcome, expression of satisfaction or gratitude in letters sent by patients or their families is one of the most important rewards for caregivers in our ICUs. With the LIFE campaign, the ESICM aims to Link Intensive care to Family Experience.
Intensive care professionals from all countries were asked to contribute to LIFE, to submit letters from patients or their families, respecting patients privacy, as a testimony of the intense human relationships that arise in the ICU. All letters are displayed on the walls of the congress centre, in their original language, to be read by congress attendees. On the opening day of the Barcelona Congress, five letters will be drawn among those selected by members of the ESICM Council on the basis of their emotional content and of the human values highlighted. Submitters of these five letters will receive a free registration to the 24th Annual Congress of the ESICM to be held in Berlin in 2011. This is a unique opportunity to connect the general public to our specialty through stories of patients that recognise the devotion and excellence of intensive care professionals. Campaigns such as LIFE help us highlight the outstanding commitment of critical care teams to save lives.
The 23rd Annual Congress in Spain offers a rare combination of thematic presentations, education, discussion and debate of new data as well as innovative and responsive features. These elements, in addition to the entertaining social programme and the exciting host city, Barcelona, create an intoxicating mixture that makes this congress an event that should not be missed.