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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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Newsletter 2021

Newsletter March 2021: The Black Box

‘This accident should only happen once.’ How can lessons in aviation apply to healthcare during the COVID-19 pandemic?

ROMERO GARCIA, Carolina Soledad and Andrea Brandi


Twitter: @AnesthesiArt

The virus that caused the COVID-19 disease has marked an inflecion point in the modern era, before and after coronavirus. It has been not only a health crisis but also a global crisis of science, information, economics, education, politics and ethics.

When a plane accident occurs, several task forces are set in motion. A committee is created with members of the country where the accident took place, the aviation security agency (1), the aircraft manufacturer and experts from the country where the aeroplane is registered. Evidence is collected, including all communications and also data from the last flight. The accident is completely recreated to determine the exact chain of events. The committee seeks the truth no matter what; obviously, this is a clear situation of avoidable mortality, a term we know well at the hospital too.

Generally speaking, mortality depends on many variables; in this circumstance, COVID-19 mortality depends on the detection rate of cases, the screening criteria when doing the tests, the diagnostic criteria of death by COVID-19 and the healthcare performance in every area. Isolating a country from its neighbouring nations presents many limitations, and in the long run, can only be a small piece of the puzzle. A multinational intervention with experts from each country, experts from the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) and experts from China as the first ones that dealt with the outbreak could bring the best out of this tremendous historical moment that has cost so many lives. The aviation protocol establishes four sections to study the incident that could be translated into the medical field:

  1. a) The primary non-person-related findings: such as the pathogens or the environment.
  2. b) The primary person-related findings: this refers to operations and performance.
  3. c) The indirect underlying events: events that might not be evident but that played an important role in the accident.
  4. d) The direct underlying events: these are the easiest to identify and are usually the first we see.

Participation as a party in these investigations should be a privilege and will confer no rights or benefits (2) to the members involved. These reports will be published publicly, and the entire aerospace industry will benefit from the knowledge of this accident. The transcript below is from the air traffic control (ATC) of Tenerife, where two Boing 747 passenger jets crashed in 1977 leaving almost 600 dead (Figure 1).

The radio communications prior to the crash were quite confusing (3).

17 :02 :18 (Mecanician) – Third he said?

17 :02 :19 (Captain) – Three?

17 :02 :21 (Tenerife control tower) – -ird one to your left.

17 :02 :22 (Captain) – I think he said first.

17 :02 :26 (First officer) – I’ll ask him again.

17 :02 :32 (First officer) – Left turn.

Composite chart of the Boeing 747 Jet Clipper (3)


This disaster had a lasting influence on aviation and highlighted the vital importance of using standardised phraseology in radio communications, the word ‘take-off’ will be left for just one specific situation. Moving forward from this incident, the module crew resources management module was made mandatory in aviation training for pilots and cabin crew. This course, which lasts between 14-35 hours, enhances group participation and promotes awareness of behavioural attitudes and improves communication during a crisis. Human factors, safety culture, stress management, information acquisition and management, leadership, team behaviour, synergy, etc., are just some of the topics covered. What lessons can we learn in medicine safety? We don’t have to approach this with blame, but rather with the desire to find a way to avoid a new similar accident.

This action plan drives us directly to the second great crisis of this year, the crisis of data and statistics. How can we compare numbers from one country to another when there are no clear diagnostic criteria, equivocal screening indications, no standard tests, and treatment and isolation measures are continually changing? There is an urge to adhere to data unification that allows efficient and reliable management of emergent events to achieve joint success through our unified efforts. An accurate count of the number of deaths due to COVID-19 infection, which depends in part on proper death certification, is critical to ongoing public health surveillance and response (4) not only for the present but for the future of the global community.

This crisis does not only bear the COVID-19 deaths; it has impacted all of society and each and every person. Surgeries have been cancelled, transplant programs have been reduced, chemotherapy sessions have been rescheduled and consultations have been postponed. As a result, a 50% drop in segment elevation myocardial infarction (STEMI) patients coming to hospitals has been reported (5), out-hospitals cardiac arrests had worse short-term outcomes during the pandemic (6), and an increase in avoidable death by cancer is to be expected (7).

Initiatives enhancing international workforces for disease prevalence estimation have recently begun to be framed in the European Union (8) and they should be a priority for the healthcare community. Early career researchers will play a fundamental role within multidisciplinary teams to better understand and elaborate a collaborative and efficient contingency plan. We will not succeed if every time we face a challenge we start from scratch. As a global community, we shall win if we share knowledge, expertise and solutions, if we take the inspiration and the impulse from the steps colleagues have taken, together we will go further.

What if we could watch the last year as a movie starting from December 2019 in Wuhan and coming back up until today? What would we have done differently? There is just one thing we could do, and this is to put evidence-based medicine and patient safety at the core (9). Collecting and sharing data as a community will help to bring an end to this crisis faster and better. Will this wave hold the secrets of spread? Let’s open the black box and see what it is on the tape!



  1. European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA).
  2. https://www.easa.europa.eu/domains/safety-management/aviation-safety-reporting  (accessed August 18, 2020.)
  3. Certification of party representative. NTSB
  4. https://www.ntsb.gov/legal/Documents/NTSB_Investigation_Party_Form.pdf (accessed August 18, 2020.)
  5. Aircraft Accident Report: Pan American World Airways, Inc., Boeing 747, N747PA, Flight 845, San Francisco, California, 1977.
  6. International guidelines for certification and classification (coding) of COVID-19 as a cause of death. Based on ICD (International Statistical Classification of Disease). World Health Organization. April 2020.
  7. Roffi M, Capodanno D, Windecker S, et al. Impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on interventional cardiology practice: results of the EAPCI survey. Eurointervention 2020;16:247-250.
  8. Scquizzato T, Landoni G, Paoli A, et al. Effects of COVID-19 pandemic on out-of-hospital cardiac arrests: A systematic review. Resuscitation 2020;157:241-247.
  9. Maringe C, Spicer J, Morris M, et al. The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on cancer deaths due to delays in diagnosis in England, UK: a national, population-based, modelling study. Lancet Oncol 2020;21:1023-34.
  10. Novel tools for test evaluation and disease prevalence estimation (HARMONY). https://harmony-net.eu (accessed August 14, 2020.)
  11. Robinson KA, Brunnhuber K, Ciliska D, et al; Evidence-Based Research Network. Evidence-Based Research Series-Paper 1: What Evidence-Based Research is and why is it important? J Clin Epidemiol 2021;129:151-157.



Thank you to my mentor, Dr Giovanni Landoni, for providing guidance and support.

2020 ESAIC Mentorship programme.


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Read More of our special newsletter covering our virtual congress.

Visit our COVID-19 Resource Hub for other news and resources.