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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.


Professional Growth

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.


EU Projects

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.


Patient Safety

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 2021

EA21 Newsletter: Session 01P1 The opioid crisis: how to do better?

Saturday December 18, 14:00 – 15:00  – Channel 7

This three-part session on the middle day of Euroanaesthesia tackled various aspects of the opioid crisis.

In her talk on the opioid-sparing effect of low-dose ketamine, Dr Marieke Niesters of Leiden University Medical Center, Netherlands, discussed how normally moderate to severe postoperative pain is, in current practice, predominantly treated by strong opioids.

“Often these opioids are continued after discharge from the hospital and a significant number of patients continue to use these opioids even without the presence of post-surgical pain,” she explained.  “Ketamine is an NMDA-receptor antagonist mostly known for its anaesthetic properties. Besides its use as an anaesthetic drug, ketamine also has significant analgesic properties for the treatment of predominantly acute pain.”

She detailed how ketamine has been shown for many types of surgeries to induce pain relief, reduce postoperative opioid requirements and prolong time to the first analgesic rescue dose.  She concluded: “Therefore, ketamine is often used in multimodal pain therapy to reduce postoperative opioid use during hospital stay and possibly also after discharge.”

A talk on the opioid-sparing effect of Lidocaine infusion was given by Professor Markus Hollmann of Amsterdam University Medical Center, Netherlands.

Professor Hollman explained that lidocaine is known for its blockade of voltage-gated sodium channels leading to inhibition of impulse conduction and thereby its local antinociceptive and antiarrhythmic action. However, systemic effects independent of sodium channels, for example, its antiinflammatory activity, have also been described.

These so-called alternative effects occur, at times, at concentrations much lower than those required to block neuronal or cardiac sodium channels. Lidocaine acts on various channels (sodium, potassium and calcium channels) and receptors (G protein-coupled and ionotropic (e.g. NMDA) receptors). “Already bt 1951, Lidocaine’s systemic analgesic effects had been reported and numerous publications have confirmed the beneficial effects of lidocaine in perioperative pain management,” he explained.

More importantly, a preventative analgesic effect (postoperative pain reduction for longer than 5.5 times the half-life of lidocaine) was confirmed in 13 out of 16 studies. Numerous other reviews and meta-analyses supported the improvement of postoperative pain and a reduction in opioid consumption for lidocaine. However, this effect was more prominent in abdominal surgery and for some types of surgery (tonsillectomy, hip surgery, cardiac surgery) no effect of lidocaine has been shown. More recently a mild-to-moderate opioid-sparing effect of lidocaine in ambulatory surgery was reported.

He concluded: “Overall, side effects of perioperative lidocaine infusion were at most mild and did not differ in randomised, placebo-controlled trials from those observed in the placebo group. Thus, perioperative lidocaine is considered a safety measure to reduce perioperative opioid consumption for various but not all types of surgery.”

Opioid sparing after surgery was also presented in this session, in a talk by Dr Lesley Colvin of the University of Dundee, UK.

Read More of our special newsletter covering our virtual congress