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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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Newsletter 2020

Palliative medicine – a great option for anaesthesiologists

Reino Pöyhiä, MD

Understanding of complexities of diseases, a holistic approach to the care of a patient, acute and chronic pain management, alleviation of other symptoms, expertise in sedation, communication skills and do not resuscitate (DNAR) decision making. These all are important features of both anaesthesiology and palliative medicine. If you add titrating the doses of medications to effects, capability to rapid responses, comprehensive understanding and practice of hydration and nutrition plus team-work, wouldn´t you agree that an anaesthesiologist would be a perfect palliativist?

The ASA definition of anaesthesiology (1) includes the following content: “The practice of medicine dedicated to the relief of pain and total care of the surgical patient before, during and after surgery.” The WHO definition of palliative care (2), is not thatdifferent from this, as it says: “Palliative care is an approach that improves the quality of life of patients and their families facing the problem associated with life-threatening illness, through the prevention and relief of suffering by means of early identification and impeccable assessment and treatment of pain and other problems, physical, psychosocial and spiritual”. End-of-life care, which the most anaesthesiologists are rather familiar with – at least in the ICU, is the final phase of palliative care.

In central Europe, anaesthesiologists have had a significant role in the development of palliative care. Excellent results have been reported about the establishment an anaesthesiologist-maintained pain relief and palliative care unit in Italy, already over 15 years ago (3). A recent survey shows that in Germany, 195 hospitals have a palliative care unit mostly as part of the anaesthesia department (4). In addition, 3 of 5 existing chairs of palliative medicine are previous anaesthesiologists in Germany (5). Another questionnaire study observed that anaesthesiology was the responsible discipline in 75 % of hospital palliative care consultation teams in the Netherlands (6).  And let´s not forget that the current president of the European Association of Palliative Care, professor Christoph Ostgathe, is also a trained anaesthesiologist!

Yet countries are different and there could be more anaesthesiologists on board in the palliative field. A recent estimate showed that in the USA, there are only 125 anaesthesiologists subspecialised to palliative medicine, which means only 1.7 % of all 6748 specialists in palliative care (7). However, also in the USA, there is a growing interest toward palliative care among anaesthesiologists. Recently, Cobert et al (7) have described excellent results from an anaesthesia-guided palliative care home service in the USA. Interestingly enough, the American Board of Anaesthesiologists has included palliative medicine as a special competence program in their services.

If a trained anaesthesiologist decides to turn to palliative care, further education is a needed. Palliative medicine is recognised as an independent medical specialty in the UK, Ireland and Poland and as a subspecialty in Czech Republic, Germany, Georgia, Hungary, Romania and Sweden. In most other European countries there are formal educational programs for special competence or special denomination of palliative care/medicine. Although European anaesthesiologists can participate in these programs, only few have done, so far. As an example, in Finland only 8 out of 131 palliative medicine specialists are anaesthesiologists.

Are the any other reasons, why anaesthesiologists should become more active in palliative medicine? First, there is a lack of palliative care physicians! The global needs of palliative care are not currently met. WHO has clearly stated palliative care as a human right. All around the world, 20 million people need dedicated palliative care but even in high-income countries only 30-45% of these needs are met by specialist palliative care (2). The unmet needs are the highest in advanced cardiopulmonary diseases. Secondly, many anaesthesiologists are already very familiar with care of compromised patients in OR, ICU and emergency departments. Anaesthesiologists are also skilful proceduralists, and as palliativists would be able perform the most of palliative care procedures quickly and safely enough. Thirdly, palliative medicine and care would be a wonderful opportunity to growthe role of anaesthesiology in society. And finally, palliative care could offer different career opportunities to anaesthesiologists, who would be warmly welcomed as clinicians, directors, teachers and researchers in palliative care.


(1) Fine PG et al. . Anesth Analg 2018; 127: 12-14

(2) https://www.who.int/nmh/Global_Atlas_of_Palliative_Care.pdf

(3) Mercadante S, Villari P, Ferrera P.. Support Care Cancer 2003;11:114–119

(4) Erlenwein J et al. Der Anaesthesist. 2017 Aug;66(8):579-588

(5) Kettler D & Nauck F. Current Opinion in Anaesthesiology 2010, 23:173–176

(6) Brinkman-Stoppelenburg A et al.. BMC Health Services Research  (2016) 16:518

(7) Cobert J et al.. Anesth Analg  2018; 127: 284-288