Login to myESAIC Membership


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.

Membership opportunities
at the ESAIC

Newsletter 2020

Newsletter October 2020: Anaesthesia versus intensive care medicine: a deleterious debate

Manuel Otero-Lopez, Hôpital Avicenne, AP-HP, Bobigny, France

Pablo Monedero, Clínica Universidad de Navarra, Pamplona, Spain



The European Society of Anaesthesiology and Intensive Care (ESAIC) has decided to add explicitly “Intensive Care” to its name. The proposal to change the name of ESA to ESAIC, The European Society of Anaesthesiology and Intensive Care, has been approved with the full support of its members and will be implemented from October 2020 (1).

Shortly after the proposed change, the European Society for Intensive Care Medicine (ESICM) wrote a response letter (2), suggesting that this action goes against their interests. ESICM consider that they are the only, exclusive, and legitimate European voice to represent and defend European intensivists, even though a large proportion of them come from academic training in anaesthesia. This paper is not the place to debate this issue, but indeed these seemingly opposite views of both societies could and should find a place for consensus.

Intensive care medicine (ICM) has changed and progressed deeply in the last 30 years; therefore, any doctor who wants to be competent in ICM needs a central dedication to this field of knowledge, especially to be a leader in this area (3).

In Europe, four countries have ICM partially separated from anaesthesia: Spain (3), Switzerland, the United Kingdom and France. When we look at the evolution in other parts of the world (4,5), we see a strong trend towards a progressive split-up. The main argument expressed to defend this separation is the rapid progression and growth of ICM, incorporating sophisticated routine technologies such as CVVHF or ECMO, and the need to ensure the training of the next generation of ICM physicians to the correct standards and in the necessary numbers (6).


Need and advantages of ICM as a supra-speciality of anaesthesiology 

Training in anaesthesia requires a deep understanding of physiology, pathophysiology, and pharmacology, and so it is at first very close to training in ICM. When we teach anaesthesia residents, the ultimate goal of the training is not only to gain knowledge of how to manage a specific condition, or how to perform a practical procedure but also why. This final objective implies an in-depth understanding of the basic sciences.

If we agree with this above statement regarding medical competence for our trainees, then we can admit that there is not a large difference between anaesthesia and ICM. Taking mechanical ventilation as an example, there is not a big difference between knowing how to ventilate a patient for a pulmonary lobectomy and knowing how to ventilate an ICU patient with severe ARDS. The difference will be much smaller between ventilation targets for a patient with severe ARDS and the same patient, in the operating room, with peritonitis developed on day 4 (3). We certainly believe that anaesthesia residents need to acquire a good understanding of pulmonary physiology and pathophysiology.

Proper perioperative anaesthetic management of an ASA 4 patient requires a solid training in ICM. The perioperative management of a frail or elderly patient requires a good knowledge of pathophysiology and ICM to preserve the small organ reserve that the patient possesses and to avoid perioperative morbidity and mortality (7). Therefore, good anaesthetic care for an ASA 4 patient is close to managing an ICU patient.

Operating rooms (OR) are the optimal place to learn and master different skills that are essential for ICU and OR patient management and safety, such as airway management, severe and unexpected bleeding, and life-threatening crises. Besides, working in the OR is a good “scenario” to improve communication skills and to develop the experience and assertive skills necessary for good teamwork.

The challenge we have faced in our hospitals for the COVID-19 pandemic, having to multiply by two or three the number of intensive care beds, has highlighted the relevance and high versatility of the speciality of anaesthesia (8). Anaesthesia is the largest medical speciality in the hospital environment. By increasing the number of places in intensive care units (ICU) run by anaesthesia, and by transforming our post-anaesthesia care units and OR into intensive care areas (9), after postponing scheduled surgeries, we have been able to manage the influx of new COVID-19 patients adequately.

Furthermore, this versatility related to anaesthesia is also relevant when considering hospitals with a small 6-8 bed ICU. This configuration is typical in small 200-bed general hospitals in provincial cities. Providing these units only with intensivists (from an ICM primary medical speciality) 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, will be more expensive for the hospital administration than if anaesthetists, who have adequate training in ICM and who generally work in the operating room, are interested in doing on-call duties in the ICU.

Last May, a questionnaire was published in Anesthésie & Réanimation among recently graduated French doctors (10), on the professional reasons that motivated them to choose the speciality of anaesthesia.  Around 90% of the residents answered the questionnaire, and 55% of them reported having a future goal of practising a mixed activity of anaesthesia and ICM.

The European Union of Medical Specialists (UEMS) contradicts itself when it approves ICM as a domain of general core competence of anaesthesia with at least one year of training in ICU (11), but requires a minimum of 3 years of intensive care training to be recognised for qualification in ICM (12). Any broad speciality, such as anaesthesia, requires in-service training after completion of initial medical training and continuous improvement with specific professional practice to enrich both the number and level of competencies (11). However, anaesthetists do have recognition of their qualification and possess free movement as intensivists in Europe.

The confrontation between ESAIC and ESICM opens a debate that is deleterious for the future of ICM in Europe that needs to avoid useless and harmful conflicts between specialities and scientific societies. ICM is a domain of competences of multiple primary specialisations and especially of anaesthesia. Any anaesthetist must be competent in ICM. Multidisciplinary access is an even better solution than a primary speciality for promoting ICM in Europe (3). Anaesthesia needs to increase dedication and training in ICM, with the use of CoBaTrICE as a tool for progress and evaluation of competences (13).



  1. ESA will become ESAIC. ESA webpage. Available from: https://www.esahq.org/esa-news/esa-will-become-esaic/ [accessed 20 September 2020].
  2. “Together we are Intensive Care Medicine”: A statement from the ESICM President – ESICM webpage. Available from: https://www.esicm.org/together-we-are-intensive-care-medicine/ [accessed 20 September 2020].
  3. Monedero P, Paz-Martín D, Barturen F, et al. Rev Esp Anestesiol Reanim 2020; 67:147–52.
  4. Bion J, Rothen HU. Am J Respir Crit Care Med 2014; 189:256–62.
  5. Rubulotta F, Moreno R, Rhodes A.. Intensive Care Med 2011; 37:1907–12.
  6. Rhodes A, Chiche JD, Moreno R.. Intensive Care Med 2011; 37:377–9.
  7. Hubbard RE, Story DA.. Anaesthesia 2014; 69:26–34.
  8. van Klei WA, Hollmann MW, Sneyd JR. Br J Anaesth. 2020; S0007-0912(20)30661-9. doi:10.1016/j.bja.2020.08.014
  9. Peters AW, Chawla KS, Turnbull ZA.. N Engl J Med 2020; 382: e52.
  10. Mikol X, Rouaux J, Gouzien L, et al. Anesthésie & Réanimation 2020; 6:307–12.
  11. European Board of Anaesthesiology (EBA UEMS). Anaesthesiology European Training Requirements (new UEMS European Training Requirements Anaesthesiology 2018. Available from: http://www.eba-uems.eu/resources/PDFS/EPD/ETR-Anaesthesiology-2018.pdf [accessed 20 September 2020].
  12. Requirements for the Core Curriculum of Multidisciplinary Intensive Care Medicine. European Standards of Postgraduate Medical Specialist Training. EBICM. Available from: https://ebicm.esicm.org/training/ and https://www.uems.eu/__data/assets/pdf_file/0007/19753/Item-3.2.1-ETR-Training-requirements-in-ICM-final-26-sept-2014.pdf [accessed 20 September 2020].
  13. Bion JF, Barrett H.. Intensive Care Med 2006; 32:1371–83.


More Newsletter Articles

Visit our Euroanaesthesia 2020 Website for more news on everything related to the virtual congress.

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