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 2023

Newsletter September 2023: Listen to your patient and be transparent

Jannicke Mellin-Olsen

It is no coincidence that the first stakeholder mentioned in the Heads of Agreement of the Helsinki Declaration on Patient Safety in Anaesthesiology (1) is patients:  

“Patients have a right to expect to be safe and protected from harm during their medical care and anaesthesiology has a key role to play improving patient safety perioperatively….. 

…Patients have an important role to play in their safe care which they should be educated about and given opportunities to provide feedback to further improve the process for others.” 

These passages were not included to be polite or kind or in vogue. The contribution of patients is essential for us to tailor the safest and best treatment and care for that individual. After all, patients and relatives have insight and knowledge about themselves and their situation that healthcare personnel do not have.  

This is not new knowledge: The Canadian physician Sir William Osler (1849 – 1919) has been said to teach his students: “Listen to your patient; he is telling you the diagnosis.” Arne Garborg, a Norwegian author who lived at the same time, wrote: “A sick man knows much of which a healthy man has no clue.” Those of us who have been in the patients’ or relatives’ role might recognise the dilemma of being a “good” patient or speaking up when you see that something is not right, yet risk that your doctors dislike your engagement and that might interfere with the quality of your treatment.  

This dilemma is not only theoretical. Anyone dealing with patients for a long time will remember the “difficult” patient who would have received better quality treatment had they been “nicer”. Not all of us are good listeners. Not all of us are good at showing empathy. But in these cases, we can get all the information we need to treat the patient optimally by demonstrating that we care about this particular person and want to do the best for him/her. 

Many patients and relatives have experienced that after a medical error, healthcare providers and leaders try to cover up the truth to protect themselves from blame, are ashamed that something went wrong, or want to avoid lawsuits. But this practice only adds to the suffering of the victims and does not bring safe medicine forward.  

One example is what happened to Dale Ann Micalizzi, when her 11-year-old son Justin was anaesthetised to incise an infected ankle in 2011. (2) She never saw her son alive again, and nobody was willing to explain what had happened, although the family sought advice from lawyers and other doctors. Almost ten years later, she received a call from another physician from that hospital, telling her that the involved anaesthesiologist could not live with the secret anymore, knowing how she was fighting to find the truth.  

Justin had been a victim of a medication error and received a significant overdose of phenylephrine, leading to cardiac arrest and pulmonary haemorrhage. Her letter to the physicians is strongly recommended reading: Mom’s Letter to Hospital Where Son Died — Share with Attorneys — Sorry Works! …and she also mentions her role: “Although this physician informant’s information was troubling, it was also healing. You see, parents blame themselves when something happens to their child. It was our duty to keep him safe. »  

Telling the truth is helpful for healthcare personnel, as illustrated in this case. 

“Open disclosure” has four elements:  

  1. An apology or expression of regret (including the word ‘sorry’). 
  2. A factual explanation of what happened. 
  3. An opportunity for the patient to relate their experience. 
  4. An explanation of the steps to manage the event and prevent recurrence. 

But in the case of Justin Micalizzi and many other patients in many countries, healthcare professionals and hospitals believe that they risk more lawsuits if they are honest, and their lawyers advise them to hide the truth. The MedStar Health Organization in the USA introduced their CANDOR programme in all facilities in 2015. This resolution programme is initiated when a serious patient harm event is reported. (3)  

This includes an immediate investigation at the local care site, initiating a discussion with the patient safety and local care team, early communication to the patient and family, and activation of the health system’s critical incident response process, including care for the care teams and notification of leadership and claims and risk management. Seven strategies support the resolution process: 

  1. Provide immediate support to patients and families, 
  2. Hold and waive bills, 
  3. Activate event review processes early to inform resolution, 
  4. Embrace a paradigm shift in legally defensible cases, 
  5. Develop a communication and resolution program for the legal community, 
  6. Accept sacrifices with a principled resolution, and 
  7. Commit to addressing challenges with open medical staff. 

One might think that this would lead to an enormous amount of court cases, but that is not the case.  

The team analysed the effects of introducing CANDOR and found(4):

Patient safety: 

  • 12% increase in event reporting 
  • 27-fold increase in event reviews 
  • 74% reduction of serious safety events 

Medical liability: 

  • 55% decrease in total medical liability costs 
  • 42% decrease in claims 
  • 47% decrease in lawsuits 

-….hence, this approach should really be a no-brainer. 

A previous edition of the Australian Open Disclosure Framework(5) provided some good advice for such situations: 

  • Imagine the last time something went really, really wrong.  
  • Imagine that it concerned your wife, child, mother, father instead.  
  • Imagine the conversation you would have wanted to have with the doctor, the team, and the management. 

At the 10th anniversary of the Helsinki Declaration on Patient Safety in Anaesthesiology, the EJA published a themed edition where you can read about other aspects of patients’ role in healthcare.(6)  

The only way to reduce and eventually eliminate preventable patient harm in hospitals is for all stakeholders to join forces, as is done in the Patient Safety Movement Foundation (www.pfsmf.org), where ESAIC has been a partner for years. Much more on what we can do together is to be seen on their website, and there are several useful videos here: (169) Patient Safety Movement – YouTube 

The reason to involve patients and relatives is not to be “nice” and “polite. We should and must do better if we want to reduce preventable harm, to provide better treatment and develop better healthcare policies. Our patients deserve that. So do we. 


  1. Mellin-Olsen J, Staender S, Whitaker DK, et al. The Helsinki Declaration on Patient Safety in Anaesthesiology. Eur J Anaesthesiol. 2010 Jul;27(7):592-7.
  2. Justin Micalizzi – Psmf.org Accessed on: July 22nd, 2023.
  3. Improving Patient Safety MedStar Research Team Highlights the Work of the CANDOR Program (medstarhealth.org) Accessed on: July 22nd, 2023.
  4. Lambert BL, Centomani NM, Smith KM, et al. The “Seven Pillars” Response to Patient Safety Incidents: Effects on Medical Liability Processes and Outcomes. Health Serv Res. 2016 Dec;51 Suppl 32491-2515.
  5. Smith KM, Smith LL, (Jack) Gentry JC, et al. Lessons learned from implementing a principled approach to resolution following patient harm. Journal of Patient Safety and Risk Management. 2019;24(2):83-89.
  6. Preckel B, Staender S, Arnal D, et al. Ten years of the Helsinki Declaration on patient safety in anaesthesiology: An expert opinion on peri-operative safety aspects. Eur J Anaesthesiol. 2020 Jul;37(7):521-610.