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The ESAIC is dedicated to supporting professionals in anaesthesiology and intensive care by serving as the hub for development and dissemination of valuable educational, scientific, research, and networking resources.



The ESAIC hosts the Euroanaesthesia and Focus Meeting congresses that serve as platforms for cutting-edge science and innovation in the field. These events bring together experts, foster networking, and facilitate knowledge exchange in anaesthesiology, intensive care, pain management, and perioperative medicine. Euroanaesthesia is one of the world’s largest and most influential scientific congresses for anaesthesia professionals. Held annually throughout Europe, our congress is a contemporary event geared towards education, knowledge exchange and innovation in anaesthesia, intensive care, pain and perioperative medicine, as well as a platform for immense international visibility for scientific research.


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The ESAIC's mission is to foster and provide exceptional training and educational opportunities. The ESAIC ensures the provision of robust and standardised examination and certification systems to support the professional development of anaesthesiologists and to ensure outstanding future doctors in the field of anaesthesiology and intensive care.



The ESAIC aims to advance patient outcomes and contribute to the progress of anaesthesiology and intensive care evidence-based practice through research. The ESAIC Clinical Trial Network (CTN), the Academic Contract Research Organisation (A-CRO), the Research Groups and Grants all contribute to the knowledge and clinical advances in the peri-operative setting.

Learn more about the ESAIC Clinical Trial Network (CTN) and the associated studies.


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The ESAIC is actively involved as a consortium member in numerous EU funded projects. Together with healthcare leaders and practitioners, the ESAIC's involvement as an EU project partner is another way that it is improving patient outcomes and ensuring the best care for every patient.


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The ESAIC aims to promote the professional role of anaesthesiologists and intensive care physicians and enhance perioperative patient outcomes by focusing on quality of care and patient safety strategies. The Society is committed to implementing the Helsinki Declaration and leading patient safety projects.



To ESAIC is committed to implementing the Glasgow Declaration and drive initiatives towards greater environmental sustainability across anaesthesiology and intensive care in Europe.



The ESAIC works in collaboration with industry, national societies, and specialist societies to promote advancements in anaesthesia and intensive care. The Industry Partnership offers visibility and engagement opportunities for industry participants with ESAIC members, facilitating understanding of specific needs in anaesthesiology and in intensive care. This partnership provides resources for education and avenues for collaborative projects enhancing science, education, and patient safety. The Specialist Societies contribute to high-quality educational opportunities for European anaesthesiologists and intensivists, fostering discussion and sharing, while the National Societies, through NASC, maintain standards, promote events and courses, and facilitate connections. All partnerships collectively drive dialogue, learning, and growth in the anaesthesiology and intensive care sector.



Guidelines play a crucial role in delivering evidence-based recommendations to healthcare professionals. Within the fields of anaesthesia and intensive care, guidelines are instrumental in standardizing clinical practices and enhancing patient outcomes. For many years, the ESAIC has served as a pivotal platform for facilitating continuous advancements, improving care standards and harmonising clinical management practices across Europe.



With over 40 years of publication history, the EJA (European Journal of Anaesthesiology) has established itself as a highly respected and influential journal in its field. It covers a wide range of topics related to anaesthesiology and intensive care medicine, including perioperative medicine, pain management, critical care, resuscitation, and patient safety.



Becoming a member of ESAIC implies becoming a part of a vibrant community of nearly 8,000 professionals who exchange best practices and stay updated on the latest developments in anaesthesiology, intensive care and perioperative medicine. ESAIC membership equips you with the tools and resources necessary to enhance your daily professional routine, nurture your career growth, and play an active role in advancing anaesthesiology, intensive care and perioperative medicine.

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Congress Newsletter 2022

Climate change - is it time to say goodbye to inhaled anaesthesia?

Session 13ME1 Reducing the carbon footprint of anaesthetics

Today, Sat 4 June, 1630-1715H, Room Amber 7

  • Inhaled anaesthetic gases are potent greenhouse gases, with effects up to thousands of times more potent than carbon dioxide
  • In most cases, there is no reason why intravenous or regional anaesthesia cannot be safely used in its place

A presentation given at this year’s Euroanaesthesia Congress will address the environmental impact of inhaled anaesthetic agents and how we can and should manage without them – or at least massively reduce their use. The presentation will be given by anaesthesiologist Dr Niek Sperna Weiland, Amsterdam University Medical Center, The Netherlands, founder of the centre’s Sustainable Healthcare Team.

All volatile (gaseous) anaesthetics are potent greenhouse gases, ranging in global warming potential (GWP) from 440 to 6810 relative to carbon dioxide (CO2,) which has a reference GWP of 1.  The anaesthetic sevoflurane has a GWP of 440, isoflurane 1800, and desflurane 6810. These are all extremely high. Methane, emitted by livestock around the world and other processes, has a GWP of 86, and Nitrous oxide (emitted by agriculture, but also used in anaesthesia) is 289, and this gas has an extremely long atmospheric lifetime (around 120 years).

“Reduction of emission of these gases is a quick win in combatting climate change,” explains Dr Sperna Weiland. “After use, these substances are emitted into the atmosphere and rising concentrations have been registered even in very remote areas such as Antarctica and high in the Alps.”

There are several ways to reduce emissions, which include ending the use of nitrous oxide, desflurane and isoflurane immediately, though a combination of efficient use of the only other available alternative (sevoflurane), and switching to other modes of anaesthesia such as TIVA (total intravenous anaesthesia) and regional anaesthesia (spinal/epidural/nerve blocks); and also capturing volatile anaesthetics from the exhaust air piping. “It is also hopeful that a complete ban on desflurane is now being prepared by the European Commission, which would come into effect on 1 January 2026,” explains Dr Sperna Weiland. (For more information see – EUR-Lex – 52022PC0150 – EN – EUR-Lex (europa.eu))

He will explain that while some indications for inhaled anaesthesia will remain, there is no reason why a patient could not be switched to TIVA or regional anaesthesia in most instances. “There is no evidence that volatile anaesthesia results in more favourable patient outcomes. That said, we cannot do entirely without these inhaled agents. The most common indication may be the continued need for mask induction of anaesthesia for children,”

He will also present the successful sevoflurane reduction campaign of Amsterdam UMC, which has seen annual canisters used fall by 70% from above 2500 per year to below 1000. In line with previous recommendations, Amsterdam UMC also completely abolished nitrous oxide, desflurane and isoflurane.

This success has come without the hospital yet implementing capture and recycle technology. He explains: “In Amsterdam, we do not capture and recycle and yet we reduced our emissions by 70%. This seems almost as low as you can go with using sevoflurane efficiently and switching to regional/TIVA. For the remaining 30%, capture and recycling will be the only option. While technology that can do this is coming onto the market, there are some legal issues with marketing the recycled substance which must still be overcome before this can become a widespread practice.”

Dr Sperna Weiland will address overall energy use in operating rooms (ORs), explaining that “hospitals generally do not seem to have any clear policy on this, and indeed energy-saving technology only tends to be introduced when operating theatres are refurbished, or entirely new hospitals are built. But as we ourselves have demonstrated, you really can save a lot of energy by switching off most ORs during evenings, through the night and over weekends. In Amsterdam, we save around 360.000 kWh per annum by doing this”.

For waste materials, Amsterdam UMC uses the apply the ‘reduce, reuse, recycle’ paradigm. A lot of the materials in ORs are disposed of unused, just because it was unwrapped due to protocol. Dr Sperna Weiland explains: “We are critically reviewing these protocols and also the sets that we use. Moreover, we have developed a washable surgical headcover that is being implemented this year. We will go from 100,000 disposable headcovers to just 500 per year, and save around 60% of our carbon footprint for headcover use. Lastly, we implemented a full recycling program of plastic packaging materials in all our operating rooms recycling around 4000 kg per month.”

He concludes: “Climate change has really come to the top of the agenda in many countries, in both developed and developing countries, especially in the last couple of years. Every sector must play its part in reducing both emissions of harmful gases and overall energy use. It is clear that much can be achieved with relatively little effort, such as massively reducing use of inhaled anaesthesia and general power-saving techniques. Some national and international policies may be required to target remaining emissions, especially those associated with our supply chain, but at Amsterdam UMC we have shown what is possible with our own effort first.”

Note: *Desflurane ban information: planned date January 1 2026.
Reference: https://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/TXT/?uri=CELEX%3A52022PC0150, see page 24.

Read More of our special newsletter covering our congress.