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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 2022

How anaesthetists are driving down preventable maternal mortality

Session 04S1 Combatting maternal morbidity and mortality

Today Monday 6 June, 0930-1030H, Space 1

As part of this three-part session on Monday morning, obstetric anaesthesia Expert Dr Nuala Lucas (Northwick Park Hospital, London, UK) will examine the key messages for anaesthesia practice from the UK’s Maternal Mortality Reports which are produced annually to provide robust information about the causes of maternal deaths to promote learning and further reduce preventable maternal mortality in the UK and beyond.

She will refer extensively to the UK Maternal Mortality Enquiry programme that is led by Professor Marian Knight at the National Perinatal Epidemiology Unit at the University of Oxford and supported by clinicians from multiple disciplines in maternity care.

In the last of these reports covering 2017-19, a total of 191 women died during or up to six weeks after the end of pregnancy, from causes associated with their pregnancy, among 2,173,810 women giving birth in the UK. This translated to a rate of 8.8 women per 100,000 dying during pregnancy or up to six weeks after childbirth or the end of pregnancy – a similar rate to that seen in 2010-12, almost a decade earlier.

The data regarding ethnicity showed an alarming disparity – while the maternal mortality rate was 7 per 100,000 for white women, for Asian women this was 12 per 100,000; for mixed-race women 15 per 100,000, and for Black women a staggering 32 per 100,000 – more than four times the rate of white women. Similarly, the most deprived 20% of pregnant women, with a maternal mortality rate of 14, were twice as likely to die as those in the most affluent 20% (maternal mortality rate 7).

Prof Knight says: ‘’Our latest report acts as a reminder of the urgent action required to reduce the inequalities in maternity care that exist due to a woman’s ethnicity and socioeconomic status. This will be crucial to ensure a reduction in maternal deaths in the future.’’

The report shows that heart disease remains the leading cause of death among women during or just after pregnancy, followed by epilepsy and stroke. Sepsis and thrombosis and thromboembolism (blood clots) remain important causes of maternal death during or up to six weeks after the end of pregnancy. The maternal death rate from preeclampsia and eclampsia continues to be low but is higher than the lowest rate recorded, in 2012-14. Cancer is the most frequent cause of death for women between six weeks and a year after the end of pregnancy. Maternal suicide remains the leading direct (pregnancy-related) cause of death over the first year after pregnancy.

Dr Lucas says: “While some of these events are beyond the remit of the maternal anaesthesia teams, such as the tragedy of cancer during or just after pregnancy, there is much that we can do to further drive down maternal mortality in the UK. Even one preventable maternal death is unacceptable,” she explains.

Each pregnant woman in the UK should be assessed for the risk of blood clots using national guidelines produced by the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists, with the maternity team, ensuring anti-clotting medication is prescribed if this is indicated. A major focus of improving outcomes is utilising primary and secondary prevention, particularly risk recognition and stratification. This is essential for women at an obviously higher risk of complications – those with heart disease.

Of course, not every complication can be prevented, and for some women, critical events like major postnatal bleeding (obstetric haemorrhage) will occur even in women without risk factors. Optimising outcomes in these situations relies heavily on ensuring ‘institutional preparedness’ in every maternity unit – the availability of staff and resources. Multidisciplinary training is now a mandatory requirement for maternity units in the NHS.

Finally, even when it looks like mother and baby are fine and all has gone well, there can be a sudden and unexpected deterioration of the mother in the recovery ward. The use of maternal early warning scores to assist with detecting acute deterioration has been a recommendation in the UK for several years. The publication of a new national maternal early warning score system is anticipated later this year.

What relevance does the UK Maternal Mortality Report have outside the UK? A United Nations Sustainable Development Goal is that by 2030, the global maternal mortality ratio (MMR) will be reduced to less than 70:100,000 live births. To achieve quality improvement in maternal health and continued reduction in MMR, it is necessary to understand the structures and processes that lead to a maternal death. This approach, described by the World Health Organization as going ‘beyond the numbers’, can be undertaken by different methodologies depending on the healthcare setting and resources. The methodology of MBRRACE-UK, the longest-running enquiry of its kind, provides an international benchmark, and many of the lessons highlighted in its reports are applicable in other healthcare settings.

Professor Knight and Dr Lucas agree that to achieve significant improvement in maternal mortality, there is a need to address mortality due to causes arising from existing disease aggravated by pregnancy. This will require increased emphasis on multidisciplinary planning and provision of care for women who have existing disease. Obstetric anaesthesia has an integral role in many aspects of maternal care beyond the provision of anaesthesia and analgesia. It has a shared responsibility for delivering safe care but is often under-represented and under-resourced in the planning of maternity care. Anaesthesia services in the maternity must be adequately resourced, which is an essential action for policymakers and service planners.


For details of the UK report, published in 2021 and covering data from 2017-19, see the links below:

Lay Summary

Full Report


Core Report


Read More of our special newsletter covering our congress.