ESRA Newsletter
# 5 - September 2016
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Enjoy your seasonal ESRA Newsletter – Happy (end of) summer!

Welcome to Maastricht!

 Dear Colleagues,

On behalf of the board of directors of ESRA and members of the Organising Committee we invite you to join us in Maastricht for the 35th Annual ESRA Congress - State of the Art Safety Standards in Regional Anaesthesia.

Since its foundation in 1980, ESRA has sought to associate and affiliate into one organization all anaesthesiologists, physicians and scientists who are engaged in, or interested in, the techniques of regional anaesthesia for surgery, obstetrics, paediatrics and pain control.

As in previous years, the focus of the scientific programme will be on state of the art presentations in our field as well as new insights into basic science, clinical research and therapeutic interventions. We are creating a scientific programme in which the interaction between speakers and audience is to be continuous and the basic aim for the scientific programme. The scientific standard at the annual ESRA congress is now recognised as one of the best in Europe and as a result carries a high rating with the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education, who assign credit hours to all ESRA congresses.

The Scientific Committee is developing a programme with topics covering all the fields of interest in the application of regional anaesthesia/analgesia alone or in multimodal approach. Acute and chronic pain management topics of special interest for anaesthesiologists will also be included as an important part of the programme.

The type of sessions will be refresher course lectures, symposia, pro/con debates, panel discussions, luncheon sessions, special workshops including cadaver workshops, and of course free paper and poster presentations.

For those participants who successfully completed the first part (written exam) of the ESRA Diploma in Ljubljana, 2015, the second part (practical) will take place during the Maastricht Congress along with the written exam for those who wish to register for the Certified ESRA Diploma on Regional Anaesthesia.

We very much expect you to enjoy this exciting anaesthesia congress set in Maastricht!
Barry Nicholls
General Secretary

José De Andrés
President of ESRA

Marc Van de Velde
Scientific Chairman
Special discounts for trainees

Trainees Day
We are offering a special discounted day tickets for trainees on Saturday 10 September, day 4 of the Congress. The programme includes more than 50 sessions on everything from avoiding complications to anatomy for dummies, and post-operative pain management.
  • Live demos – including ultrasound guided peripheral nerve blocks for breast surgery, sciatic nerve blocks, and distal nerve blocks of the upper and lower extremity.
  • Refresher courses – in central nerve blocks, modern labour analgesia, post operative pain management.
  • Talks from rising stars still in residency – from Denmark, Switzerland, Netherlands and Belgium.
  • Ask the expert sessions – on catheters for peripheral nerve blocks, and chronic pain management.
Who is it for? Residents and Trainees
When: Saturday, 10 September 2016
Where: Maastricht Congress
Time: 08:30 – 13:00
Cost: - €120 special rate for trainees only
View the programme: as a pdf
Register here
Trainees also benefit from major discounts on the following hands-on workshops:

All Hands Workshop 03
What is it? Live demonstrations from 8 experts covering: ISB supraclavicular, infraclavicular, axillary, femoral, adductor canal block, popliteal block, TPA (quadratus lumborum) and paravertebral.
When? Saturday, 10 September 2016
Time: 08:30-13:30
Cost: €55 (a 56% discount on the usual €125)
Register here

Hands-On Clinical Workshop 03: Lower limb II (Paediatrics)
What is it? Two demonstrations – one by USA expert Santhanam Suresh and the other by Peter Marhofer from Austria.
When? Saturday, 10 September 2016
Time: 08:30-10:00
Cost: €15 (a 50% discount on the usual €30)
Register here
ESRA Position Statement : Non medically qualified staff performing anaesthesia
To combat the rising cost of healthcare across Europe, many countries have started using non-medical personnel to perform techniques that would have traditionally been the domain of trained anaesthesiologists.

National regional anaesthetic societies have solicited ESRA to outline our position. So in May 2016, we published our position statement, summarised here.

In some countries, ESRA says, properly trained and supported non-medically qualified healthcare professionals can perform some types of local anaesthetic but this should be agreed first with anaesthesia bodies, other regulators and the hospital’s own department of anaesthesia. And these procedures should be limited to:
  • Local infiltration for procedures such as wound toilet and suturing
  • Fascia iliaca blocks for fractured neck or shaft of feumur
  • Sub-Tenon’s block for cataract and retinal surgery
We have warned against the use of non-medically qualified personnel to perform any of these regional anaesthetic techniques:
  • Spinal epidural and other neuroaxial blocks
  • Plexus and other trunk blocks
  • Peripheral nerve blocks
  • Peribulbar or retrobulbar eye blocks
  • Blocks for chronic pain therapy
We hope this this will aid national societies and governing bodies in the performance of safe regional anaesthesia throughout Europe.
Barry Nicholls                                                                               
ESRA Secretary General
José De Andrés
ESRA President

Click here  to access the Position Statement
Congrats to the new ESRA Residents & Trainees Representative

ESRA Residents and Trainees members elected Karin as their first representative in the Society’s history.
Karin Schoenmakers
Resident at:  Radboudumc, Nijmegen, The Netherlands
Special interests:  peri-operative pain management. PhD thesis on duration of peripheral nerve blockades.
Personal strengths: enthusiasm, communication skills, research experience and punctuality.

“Why I decided to stand for election”
“My vision is to educate all the residents in Europe in ultrasound guided regional anaesthetic techniques. This way all anaesthesiologists of the future will have the competence to perform these techniques and more patients will be able to choose such a technique for peri-operative pain management.
My goal is to set up a learning program about the basics of ultrasound and a basic set of blocks within the residency. Containing an anatomical part (theory and cadaver workshops) and a practical part with sufficient hands-on training in scanning and needle handling. And of course the social events are important too! I’m ready to achieve this within ESRA.
Progress so far
We have recently surveyed residents nationally in the Netherlands (for DARA-ESRA) to find out what they think about education and the future of regional anaesthesia. I would like to extend this survey across Europe so that we can provide a programme to suit all our residents.
Next steps: Meet me in Maastricht 
The first Residents & Trainees meeting will take place at the ESRA congress in Maastricht next week, where all ESRA national representatives will gather to discuss which new initiatives to put in place.”
Good luck Karin!

EDRA Examinations 2016

The EDRA parts I (written) and II (oral) examinations will take place at the 35th Annual ESRA Congress in Maastricht, the Netherlands, 7-10 September 2016. 
Part I – 140 candidates will sit this 2-hour exam, which will consist of 100 multiple-choice questions. For the first time this year, examinee will submit their answers online using IPad Airs that we will provide.
Part II – 90 candidates will sit this exam

Good luck to all!
For the first time, we will also organise the Part I EDRA examination during the AORA Congress, in Hyderabad, India, 23-25 September 2016.

Please note that applications are now closed.
Testimonial – How getting an ESRA Fellowship has helped my career

Ivan Kostadinov
Resident anaesthesiologist:  Clinical Hospital, Ljubljana, Slovenia
Special interest: Regional Anaesthesia
Fellow at: Sint Maartenskliniek in Nijmegen-The Netherlands
Supervisor:  Dr Rudolf  Stienstra
Skills gained:  Level 5 in ultrasound and neurostimulator guided peripheral nerve blocks. Passed the EDRA examination.

“I was at one of the ESRA Cadaver Workshops when Dr Van Geffen, from the Netherlands, told me about the ESRA Fellowship program.  I knew right away it was a perfect opportunity for me, and so I applied and was delighted to be accepted.

From the very beginning of my fellowship, I felt like a part of the team at Sint Maartenskliniek. The anaesthesiologists trained me intensively 1:1. Under their direct supervision, I gained enormous experience in peripheral nerve blocks (I performed 568 blocks in total). So I was soon able to run my own list under indirect supervision. At the end of the fellowship I was able to show proficiency in ultrasound and neurostimulator guided peripheral nerve blocks with skill level 5 (skill level 5=able to perform a procedure independently and able to teach and supervise others).
The knowledge and experience I gained on the fellowship helped me to go on to pass the EDRA examination.

Nowadays I am transferring that experience and knowledge to the colleagues in my country.
At the end I would like again to thank ESRA for the given opportunity to improve myself in the field of Regional Anaesthesia.

Also I strongly recommend this fellowship program to all young anaesthesiologists interested in Regional Anaesthesia and encourage them to apply.”

Dr. Ivan Kostadinov
Ljbuljana, Slovenia
ESRA Fellow 2016

Apply for an ESRA Educational Grant

The European Society of Regional Anaesthesia and Pain Therapy (ESRA) offers ESRA Educational Grants in order to achieve the distinctive goals of ESRA:

  • to encourage the specialisation of anaesthesiologists and other physicians in regional anaesthesia or pain management
  • to promote and sponsor courses and workshops
  • to encourage teaching of regional anaesthesia in anaesthesiology training programmes
  • to help anaesthesiologists in under-resourced countries

Application deadline – 31 December 2016
Applicants should be ESRA members and be in at least their third year of medical specialisation.

 ESRA members from all over the world are encouraged to apply. However, emphasis will be placed on applications from anaesthesiologists coming from countries that lack the financial infrastructures needed to achieve education in regional anaesthesia. 
Specialist Clinical Masterships MSc in RA

ESRA has developed a partnership with the University of East Anglia (UEA) for Specialist Clinical Masterships MSc in Regional Anaesthesia with a 10% Discount for ESRA Members!

Regional Anaesthesia has long been the most popular specialisation for trainee anaesthetists and now ESRA and SCM are bringing you the first higher degree qualification in Regional Anaesthesia (RA) in the UK.

The MSc offers a tangible qualification that is ideally suited to practising anaesthesia trainees and experienced practitioners wishing to progress in or understand the deeper principals of RA. The highly flexible (blended e-learning course) can be undertaken while in full-time practice or whilst undertaking a fellowship.

The deadline for applications for the 2017 course is 30 November 2016.

For more information and to apply, click here.
ESRA is going Strategic!

ESRA is constantly looking to improve and better serve its community.

With this in mind we’d like to ask you to contribute to our strategic plan.

By taking this 10 minute survey your voice will be counted. And you will be helping to build your society for the future.

Your contribution will form part of the 2-day strategic workshop at the end of September between the Major Officers and CEO, Florian Locatelli. This will be an opportunity for the society to reflect on its future and develop a strategic plan that more effectively serves you.

We will keep you updated on the outcome of both the survey and the strategic plan – we look forward to hearing from you!
Access our survey

ESRA past Board members

Discover the history of ESRA through this unique infographic  - we want to pay tribute to
 those who’ve contributed to bringing our Society so far since 1982.

ESRA Meetings

The 1st ESRA Instructors Course took place in Amsterdam, the Netherlands on 19 May 2016, organised by Dr Jessica T. Wegener (NL) with the support of Dr Geert J. Van Geffen (NL), Dr Clara Lobo (P), Dr. Willem De Grave (NL) and the ESRA Office.

This CME accredited course, free of charge, has been entirely financed by ESRA.
Considering the extremely positive feedback from participants, the 2nd ESRA Instructors Course should be repeated in 2017 – more news in your next ESRA newsletter!

We wish you a pleasant end of summer!
Your ESRA Team


Book the dates!

ESRA Cadaver Workshop Paris
14-15 October 2016

More information and registration

ESRA Eastern Europe Workshop
Krákow, Poland
10-11 November 2016


15-20 January, 2017
Längenfeld, Austria
More information and registration

February 23, 2017
Innsbruck, Austria

Innsbruck University
Limited to 30 participants

February 24-25, 2017
Innsbruck, Austria

Innsbruck University
Limited to 50 participants

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