ESRA Newsletter
# 4 - May 2016
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Enjoy your seasonal ESRA Newsletter – Happy spring!

ESRA Position Statement

 With the escalating cost of health care throughout Europe, many countries are looking at alternative practices to reduce costs and improve the flexibility of their workforce. A number of such practices involve training non-medical personnel to assist services and perform techniques that have, up until now, been the remit of trained anaesthesiologists.

With respect to non-medically trained personnel performing regional anaesthetic techniques, ESRA has been approached by a number of national regional anaesthetic societies to produce a statement outlining our position. This position statement has been written in the hope that this will aid national societies and governing bodies in the performance of safe regional anaesthesia throughout Europe.

José De Andrés
ESRA President

Barry Nicholls
ESRA Secretary General

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

In our last newsletter, we promised more information about the election of a representative for residents and trainees to the ESRA Board.

Each zone or country that has an elected trainee representative on its board may nominate its trainee for this position. The ESRA Office will contact all zones and trainee representatives to inform them of the application process. Each application should be accompanied by a short personal statement, CV and photograph. After the closing date, in June, ESRA will put out a call for elections to all active ESRA 2016 residents and trainees, and they will be able to elect their representative from the nominees through the online voting platform.
Election results will be communicated in July and the elected representative shall be invited to his/her first Board and Council meetings, which will take place at the ESRA Congress in Maastricht.

We remind you that the duties of the Residents & Trainees Representative will be: to work with the ESRA Board and Council, in order to reflect the residents and trainees’ needs and opinions; to assist in building a resident section within ESRA; and to improve communication with resident members through the website, newsletter and social media.

Furthermore, a Residents & Trainees Forum will be organised at our Congress, as well as our well-established Residents & Trainees Cocktail Party.
Don’t forget to cast your vote when you receive the call for election!
Click here to see the election process document.
Call for nominations - EDRA examiners
To all EDRA diplomates,
The EDRA Board wants to enlarge the pool of examiners in order to accommodate the growing number of candidates.

Click here to find the examiners’ criteria.

Send a cover letter with your CV and recommendation letters to

Deadline: 1 June 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

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. Such countries include some Eastern European or African nations.
Applicants should be ESRA members and be in at least their third year of medical specialisation.

Application deadline – 30 June 2016 and 31 December 2016

Click here for the conditions of application
Membership news

Cyprus has recently joined Greece in the Hellenic zone of ESRA, offering an opportunity for this country to be better represented in Europe.

Thanks to the ESRA Ambassador Programme and to Dr. Dan Sebastian Dîrzu, the Romanian Association of Regional Anaesthesia (ARAR) was created to represent the Romanian zone within ESRA.

ESRA supported the organisation of the first ARAR meeting in Cluj Napoca between 18 – 20 February 2016, which attracted more than 260 participants. A big thank you to Drs./Profs. Gabriella Iohom, Svetlana Galitzine, Steve Coppens, Marc Van de Velde and Marcel Vercauteren from ESRA who gave their time for lectures at this wonderful meeting!

New benefit for our members!

From now on, all active ESRA members will be able to offer their suggestions about topics and speakers for the scientific programme of the ESRA Congress 2017 in Lugano, Switzerland. More information soon.
Pan-European Survey and ESRA Registry on Safety and Effectiveness

Working Party Chairs: Eriphili Argyra & Thomas Volk
The aim of this project was to circulate a Pan-European survey on the application of Regional Anaesthesia. This would provide data on the implementation of RA in Europe. Regional differences may exist due to the lack of a unified curriculum and trainings throughout European countries. Such a survey may serve as a benchmark for the potential impact ESRA has on education in the future.

Data on safety and effectiveness of regional anaesthesia practice on a European scale are also lacking. In an attempt to initiate a standardised reporting system for either rare events (infectious complications, neurological deficits, or relevant haematoma formation) or procedure-specific outcome data, the working party also aims to explore implementing a registry.
Regional Anaesthesia (RA) is an essential part of perioperative care and has been well-established in everyday clinical practice for decades. However, information on the extent of use is sparse in current literature at a national, European, or international level. The working party, therefore, set out to develop a survey and, later, an ESRA membership registry.
The survey itself was developed using a circulation procedure with a nominal group process and delphi-rounds. The survey was then made available online and was closed in July 2015.
181 responders from 57 countries estimated an annual load of > 900,000 blocks in their hospitals. Experience in regional anaesthesia ranged from 1-41 years with a mean of 15 years. A third of all blocks were peripheral. Peripheral catheters were used in 20 % of cases for 3 days (mean). However, two thirds of all blocks were neuraxial. When epidural catheters were inserted, their use also was for 3.5 days. Most of the respondents indicated they would participate in a registry, of course depending on specific details.
Within ESRA we discussed how to continue learning more about practice and safety. Given the acknowledged impact of neurological risks when neuraxial blocks are used, and their widespread use, we must admit that there are gaps in our understanding of the development of epidural haematomas. We have learned that there are currently no adequate resources to systematically look at incidence rates. National and hospital-based activities are still ongoing. However, what might be more informative than incidence rates might be a case-based description of the development and outcome of RA-related haematomas.
Within the frame of voluntary reporting, we suggest an eCRF including general information, coagulation test results, medication, and visits as well diagnostic and therapeutic steps with the final neurological outcome, if an epidural haematoma has been identified.
Click here for more detailed survey results.

Win one free registration to the ESRA Congress 2016 in Maastricht, the Netherlands!

ESRA is always keen to support the community. Please take 15 minutes to answer this survey developed by Andrea Balthasar from the Maastricht University Medical Centre, in association with Prof W. Buhre; Prof M. van Kleef; Drs. C. Vossen, N. de Meij from the MUMC+; Dr. G.J. van Geffen of the St. Radboud UMC, Nijmegen, and MEMIC (Center of data and information management of the University of Maastricht). Andrea is striving to develop criteria for the ideal supportive needle guidance tool, which can be used during loco regional anaesthesia (single shot) and pain procedures when targeting nerves.
Please regard this information as strictly confidential. All rights are reserved.

All who take the ques
tionnaire will be entered in the drawing to win a free ESRA Congress registration!
ESRA Meetings

The 1st Spring Monothematic Conference “Obstetric Anaesthesia Refreshed” took place in Algarve, Portugal on 11-15 April 2016, and was chaired by Marc Van de Velde (Belgium).

120 participants from 18 countries enjoyed CME-accredited high-level morning scientific sessions in a beautiful environment.

We are happy to announce that the 2nd Spring Monothematic Conference will take place in 2017.

Click here to see some pictures of the event!
The 1st ESRA Instructors Course will take place in Amsterdam, the Netherlands on 19 May 2017, organised by Jessica T. Wegener with the support of the ESRA Office.

ESRA has the firm purpose of promoting education in Regional Anaesthesia. Teaching and training Regional Anaesthesia in different European countries has considerable variations in providing up-to-date knowledge as well as practical skills.

Instructor courses and "teach the teacher" programmes have a long tradition in professional medical training (e.g., life support, trauma management). The aim of this course is to standardise and improve the level of instruction of Regional Anaesthesia in different countries and ESRA zones providing a course for Regional Anaesthesia Instructors.

This course was specially developed for anaesthesiologists with national and/or international experience teaching Regional Anaesthesia and Pain Medicine.

This course is CME-accredited and free of charge – it is at this point fully booked.
Special Travelling Grants 2016

ESRA have agreed to fund two trainees proposed by the Canadian Anaesthesiologist International Educational Fund (CAIEF) to attend the ESRA Maastricht Congress 2016.

ESRA supports CAIEF, which has been active since 1996 in making anaesthesia available to people living in developing countries.
The grants will provide €1500 plus free registration for each selected trainee.
 We wish you a pleasant spring – see you in Maastricht and don’t forget that registrations are open!

For the first time, we are offering a joint membership and congress registration package. Have a look here!

EDRA Examinations 2016 – applications are open!
- EDRA Part I in Maastricht (written examination) – Wednesday, Sept. 7th, 2016

- EDRA Part II in Maastricht (oral examination) – Tuesday, Sept. 6th, 2016

- EDRA Part I in Hyderabad (written examination) - Sunday, Sept. 25th, 2016

For more information, and to apply, click here!

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