We are delighted to once again welcome you to the International Symposium on Intensive Care and Emergency Medicine in Brussels, Belgium. As our 31st, I am reminded that every year that passes marks another step forward in our evolution as a field.
As patients in the intensive care unit often require support for airway and respiratory compromise, it is fitting that not only does this issue of ICU Management centre on THE AIRWAY, but our meeting also coincides with World TB Day 2011, which falls on March 24th each year. This date commemorates the day in 1882 when Dr. Robert Koch astounded the scientific community by announcing that he had discovered the cause of tuberculosis, the TB bacillus. When Koch made his momentous announcement in Berlin, TB was raging through Europe and the Americas, causing the death of one out of every seven people. Koch's discovery opened the door towards diagnosing and curing TB. Of course, in much of the (mainly developing) world, tuberculosis remains an epidemic today, causing the deaths of several million people each year. Increased awareness and progress in rapid diagnostic testing, which can be implemented in low resource settings are encouraging steps forward in this continued fight against TB internationally.
In this issue on The Airway, we feature articles on Protocolised Versus Nonprotocolised Weaning from Mechanical Ventilation in Adult Critical Care (Dr. Lavery and Prof. Blackwood; Belfast, N. Ireland); The Importance of Oral Care in Reducing VAP in Mechanically Ventilated Patients (Nancy Njoroge and Fiona Paul; Edinburgh, Scotland) and Drs. de Abreu, Rocco and Pelosi discuss utilising CT scans in defining ARDS and guiding possible therapeutic strategies.
Within the Matrix features you will find articles on The Changing Face of Abdominal Compartment Syndrome (authored by Drs. Smith and Cheatham from Orlando, USA); an Update on Glucose Control in 2011 (from Dr. Preiser and myself) and Drs. Joannes-Boyau and Honoré inform us about New Developments in Renal Replacement Therapy (RRT).
Bridging the Gap Between Theory and Practice is the topic discussed by Dr. Blot and colleagues from Ghent, Belgium in our Management section and there is an interesting interview in our Viewpoints section with worldrenowned researcher and management guru Dr. Derek Angus (Pittsburgh, USA).
Everyday we make simple discoveries; find easier and more effective methods to treat our patients and network with our collaborators at meetings like ISICEM – Sharing information and resources, which open doors to more discoveries and treatments. Koch's monumental breakthrough may have paved the way for the future eradication of a deadly epidemic, but it should not overshadow the clinical and research based progress we are making against other conditions like sepsis.
I hope that you take this opportunity to consider how you and the other members of your teams in institutions around your part of the world are opening doors and moving the fields of intensive care and emergency medicine forward for the generations to follow