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 2022

Newsletter September 2022: Clinical practice guidelines as a means to increase the quality of clinical care throughout Europe

Prof. Peter Kranke 
ESAIC Guidelines Committee Chair

For many years the European Society of Anaesthesiology and Intensive Care (ESAIC) has been strongly supporting the development of high-quality, evidence-based guidelines as a tool to harmonise and improve clinical practice in anaesthesia, perioperative medicine, intensive care, emergency medicine as well as pain therapy throughout Europe.

These guidelines are intended to serve overarching objectives. One frequently cited reason to develop guidelines is that clinicians are frequently overwhelmed by the amount of reported evidence related to clinical questions. Relying on aggregated evidence filtered by a methodological and content-related group of experts, the guidelines may lead to a good clinical decision-making process. Thus, they have the potential to significantly reduce variability in patient care and lower unnecessary costs (by preventing those unnecessary futile treatments are applied). Further, they may increase the quality of care by focusing the treatment on evidence-based recommendations.

Here are the five major purposes of clinical practice guidelines, according to the Institute of Medicine´s Intent of Clinical Practice Guidelines (1):

  1. Assist patients and practitioners in clinical decision making
  2. Educate individuals or groups
  3. Assess and ensure the quality of care
  4. Allocate healthcare resources
  5. Reduce the risk of legal liability for negligent care.

But there are also many misconceptions regarding the meaning and use of clinical practice guidelines. These may include (but are not limited to) the assumptions that clinical guidelines should be used as (2):

  1. Reimbursement policy
  2. Performance measure
  3. Legal precedents
  4. Measures of certification or licensing
  5. Selection criteria or public reporting
  6. Recipes for „cookbook medicine“.

Although these latter assumptions are considered as not being appropriate direct purposes of guidelines, one will have to acknowledge that guidelines have a significant influence on the quality of care and, in this way, are also able to steer the financing flows in the health care system.

Trusting the quality of the recommendations is an essential criterion in the preparation of clinical practice guidelines. There are numerous recommendations to achieve this purpose. Frequently included aspects cited elsewhere [https://www.nap.edu/catalog/13058/clinical-practice-guidelines-we-can-trust] recommend that guidelines should:

  1. be based on a systematic review of the existing evidence
  2. be developed by a knowledgeable, multidisciplinary panel of experts and representatives from key affected groups
  3. consider important patient subgroups and patient preferences as appropriate
  4. be based on an explicit and transparent process that minimises distortions, biases, and conflicts of interest
  5. provide a clear explanation of the logical relationships between alternative care options and health outcomes, and provide ratings of both the quality of evidence and the strength of the recommendations
  6. be reconsidered and revised as appropriate when important new evidence warrants modifications of recommendations.

In order to meet these requirements, ESAIC has adopted a number of institutional rules and procedures to guide the drafting of guidelines.

The actual preparation of a guideline is coordinated by the specific task force. Its main purpose is to oversee the searching for and appraisal of evidence-based research and to ensure that the evidence is taken into account in the final guideline draft, following well-established methodological requirements and tools. But first, relevant clinical questions need to be framed and transferred into PICO (patient, intervention, outcome, comparator) questions that help to create a comprehensive search strategy for relevant literature. The actual search is usually performed by a designated specialist. Ideally, there is a methodologically experienced member of the task force who ensures that the ESAIC rules for the preparation of the guideline are appropriately taken into account. Otherwise, an external colleague should support the team in methodological matters. For this reason, a methodology group was created two years ago to promote and standardise guidelines, methodology tools and techniques.

After the literature has been searched, the core task is to draft the guideline and also make sure to highlight those items where evidence is lacking or ambivalent. Expert opinions are not excluded but should be clearly presented as such. Thus, such clinical practice statements based on the experiences of the guideline task force (and possibly incorporating the expertise of a wider reference group) could be developed in addition to recommendations for the PICO questions based on the existent evidence. The guideline task force may produce these clinical practice statements (rather than solely developing evidence-based recommendations) on important topics when there is a lack of research evidence, no pre-defined PICO, and, nonetheless, the conviction that the points addressed add important aspects to the overall guideline topic. The assessment of the literature being grouped into the developed PICO questions follows GRADE (Grading of Recommendations, Assessment, Development and Evaluations) as a transparent framework for developing and presenting summaries of evidence and providing a systematic approach to making clinical practice recommendations [https://www.wolterskluwer.com/en/solutions/uptodate/policies-legal/grading-guide].

It would be desirable to receive even stronger support from methodologically experienced colleagues who can assist the guideline task force members in the literature evaluation; this is rather time-consuming but a necessary part of ensuring the evidence’s quality and creating trustworthy recommendations.

After the final draft of the recommendations has been prepared and agreed upon as part of a Delphi process, the recommendations are displayed on the ESAIC website in order to ensure that ESAIC members can comment on the findings of the task force. The subsequent feedback should be discussed by the guidelines task force and, if approved, then may be integrated. As a final step, the guideline will be published on the ESAIC website and in the European Journal of Anaesthesiology and Intensive Care.

The guideline committee defines the requirements and the course of action for an ESAIC guideline. It further oversees the process of identification and prioritisation of topics as well as preparation, dissemination, evaluation and finally the initiation of updating ESAIC guidelines. The committee is responsible for selecting ESAIC Guidelines Task Forces and maintains relationships with various academic societies and scientific groups deemed necessary in preparing collaborative guidelines. The guidelines committee further suggests methods to implement guidelines and ways to inform ESAIC members. It consists of one chairperson, a past chairperson, members, as well as representatives of various bodies (EJA, EBA, NASC, Scientific Committee Chairperson, Trainee committee). The guideline committee is very glad to enjoy the full support of the ESAIC administration.

In the end, the ESAIC members have the most important role to play: to anchor the recommendations of the guidelines in everyday life and translate them into clinical care. Too often, this implementation part is the weakest link in the chain and the most difficult to achieve. To strengthen the last step in the guidelines production process, national endorsement of the guidelines and an adequate dissemination campaign of its content are crucial.

This paper is addressed to all the ESAIC members. Each of them is called upon to actively participate in the creation of the guidelines. This voluntary contribution cannot be valued and appreciated highly enough.

For further information and completed as well as ongoing projects, please be referred to the guideline committee on the ESAIC website


  1. Ruhl D et al Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg 2017;157:175
  2. Rosenfeld R et al. Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg 2013;148:S1-55

[maxbutton id=”1″ url=”https://www.esaic.org/newsletter/” text=”Read the Newsletter” ]

Related news

See all news