Spring Newsletter    
European Society for Paediatric Anaesthesiology                    ISSUE #11 / March 2017

Dear Members,

The agenda for the Prague Executive Board Meeting was far too long at the first glance. In fact, we had so many things to discuss because a lot of exciting developments and ideas are forthcoming. In the end, I dare to confess that this was one of the most effective meetings we have ever had during my time serving on the ExBo. First of all, we finished the last preparations for the Glasgow conference. The scientific program is outstanding now and also the social part is prepared. We expect Glasgow to become one of the memorable meetings ever so make sure to be there! Personally, I am so excited to meet close friends from the APA and once again, science will overcome the stupid idea of Brexit.

One of the most interesting projects for ESPA is the collaboration with other specialist societies beyond Paediatric Anaesthesia like the one in June with our Italian colleagues, but also with the ESPNIC and EAPS. We had a positive meeting with the core officers of ESPNIC in Geneva and while I will not go in details, I do promise an interesting near future. ESPA is closely associated now with ESA due to the high number of ESPA members being involved in the subcommittee 5 (Paed Anaesth). A common statement regarding anaesthesia and neurotoxicity is one result that is coming out of this fruitful collaboration. Please check the next issues of Paediatric Anaesthesia or the European Journal of Anaesthesiology.

So, Glasgow is over at least from the planning aspect and Brussels is underway. We may be presenting another big surprise because we are in talks with our American friends offering the possibility to host the International Assembly of Pediatric Aesthesia (IAPA) together with ESPA 2018.

Alas, I cannot list all of the important highlights we had on the agenda but will promise to discuss it with you in depth during our meeting in Glasgow. There will be a lot more to come. Please use your chance to get in touch with the ExBo and your dear friends and colleagues in Glasgow. It is your society and your congress!

Hope to meet you all there and warm regards so far this year,


Ehrenfried Schindler, President

In Memoriam Professor Riku Aantaa: 1959- 2016

The Finnish anaesthesia society and the international paediatric anaesthesia community are greatly saddened by the death of Professor Riku Aantaa who was a much loved and admired Professor at the University of Turku and Turku University Hospital. Riku was born in Turku to a family of doctors. Inspired by his parents’ careers Riku entered Turku University to study medicine in 1978. After graduation in 1984 he decided to specialize in anaesthesia and intensive care and later became interested in paediatric anaesthesia.

Riku had an excellent career. He was a skilled clinician and was also a dedicated and tireless contributor to the development of the quality of care in his department at Turku University Hospital. He served for 10 years as the chief administrative medical officer of the surgical, pain and intensive care division. Riku also devoted his free time to voluntary missions to developing countries /under the auspices of/as a member of/the Smile Network International to provide anaesthesia to children undergoing cleft lip and palate surgery.

In addition to his clinical work Riku was involved in the development of dexmedetomidine, a new molecule that was developed in Finland for anaesthesia and intensive care. He wrote his theses on dexmedetomidine (Dexmedetomidine, an α2-adrenoceptor agonist, as a premedication for minor surgery) in 1991. Riku undertook and collaborated on a number of clinical and non-clinical research projects concerning the drug and later acted as a medical adviser to the Orion Pharma medical company. During recent years, dexmedetomidine has become the drug of choice for sedation in intensive care and it is also a widely used drug in anaesthesia.  

We will always remember Riku with the greatest affection.
Please read more HERE and the amazing impact he made on the world and everyone around him. 

28 - 30 September 2017 

Start planning for the 9th European Congress on Paediatric Anaesthesia  on September 28th – 30th, 2017 at the Radisson Blu Hotel Glasgow, Scotland, UK. The Congress is organized by the European Society for Paediatric Anaesthesiology (ESPA) in collaboration with the Association of Paediatric Anaesthetists of Great Britain and Ireland and in cooperation with the European Society of Paediatric and Neonatal intensive Care Medicine (ESPNIC) and the Academic Paediatrics Association (APA).  The International Assembly of National Paediatric Anaesthesiology Societies is also in partnership with ESPA for this upcoming event.

The Congress gathers outstanding experts in the field of paediatric anaesthesiology from all over the world and covers the latest clinical and experimental evidence in the field.

You can also view the programme HERE.

Due May 15, 2017.
Further instructions are HERE.  
Every ESPA member of a defined lower income country* who is a paediatric anaesthetist or in training for paediatric anaesthesiology can ask once every three years for the LIC Grant. A letter from department confirming the position and official application is required.

The ESPA member has to apply for the LIC Grant before closing Congress early bird fee deadline. Please, send the application with the letter from department to The application must be received four weeks before the Congress early bird fee deadline.

Please read HERE for more information and deadlines. 
We are very happy to announce that our Serbian colleagues have founded the new
“Society of Pediatric Anesthesiologists and Intensivists - Serbia (SPAIS).”

They want to become a member of ESPA - their aim is to continue with education/scientific work and increase quality/safety for the Serbian paediatric patients. The first President of the new society is a long year ESPA member and our close friend Professor Dusica Simic from the University of Belgrade.

Congratulations and big hugs to all of you! - President Fredi Schindler

Also, Professor Dusica Simic is leading a PA Summer School Programme in Belgrade May 19-20, 2017!

Check out the programme HERE.
Update on ESPA Business Plan:

One important document coming out of the meeting this month in Prague was the proposal for the ESPA Business Plan 2017-2021. After an intense discussion we decided the final version which will be available soon in the “members only section” of the webpage. Moreover we decided to put all minutes of the meetings from the ExBo as well as the General Assembly and ACORN Meetings on the website to guarantee transparency and information for you.

The results of the meeting will be available soon. Please regularly check the “members only section” of our website.

Another document we have agreed on was the bylaws of our statutes “Guidelines of the European Society for Paediatric Anaesthesia for processing requests for endorsement”. We will put it on the website as well and both documents will be presented at the GA in Glasgow too. Eva Schaffrath and Nada Sabourdin are working on a new format for more interaction with the national representatives (ACORNS). A draft will be ready for discussion and approval in front of the Glasgow Meeting.

Well, that is the “hors d´oevres” from Prague. More will come in the next month. Stay tuned!

Ehrenfried Schindler

What is the PAIN Ladder Intiative?

The Pain Ladder Initiative was founded in 2014 by the ESPA Pain Committee which was chaired by Per-Arne Lönnqvist. The aim of this initiative is to improve postoperative pain therapy in paediatric patients throughout Europe. The main problems we are facing in postoperative pain management are the different drugs which are available and used in different countries – the result from this are the different levels of standard care throughout Europe. The basic idea of this Pain Ladder Initiative is to define a minimum standard of postoperative analgesic care which should be provided even in the smallest hospital with restricted resources. Once the initiative completes this basic level, the Pain Ladder is also intending to give suggestions for postoperative pain therapy at intermediate and advanced levels.

Read more HERE and what the Committee is doing to help. 

The ACORNS Annual Report is Available on our Website
The ACORNS (Advisory Committee of Representatives of National Societies) Annual Report 2016 is available on our website. Have a look and get acquainted with the Eurrope situation within paediatric anaesthesia!
 Every year ESPA collects annual reports on activities of the national societies of paediatric anaesthesia to be informed of the progress, activities and challenges of the national societies. Any problems and issues of the national societies are then discussed during the ACORNS meeting which takes place in the morning prior to the ESPA congress.
A list of all national representatives can be found on our website
Each newsletter, we will highlight one ESPA member in hopes that you feel more connected to the ESPA community, learn something, and ideally feel inspired.

Please email if you are interested to be interviewed! 

ESPA Member and Board Member:
Dr. Nicola Disma

What is your full name and where are you from?
Nicola Massimo Disma. I was born in Catania, Italy (Sicily area) on 
January 15, 1972.

What is your profession and how long have you been in it?
I have been a paediatric anaesthetist since 2001. I worked for five years in Catania and nine years in Genoa (at Gaslini Children’s Hospital). Currently, I am a consultant on Great Ormond Street in London since this year January 2017.  

What is your favourite part? Most challenging aspect?
Neonates are definitely my favourite patients. I think they represent a very fragile population that deserve attention and competence. Neonates and infants are the future of our society, and their clinical outcome could easily have an heavy impact on the future of the world.

Doing anesthesia on neonates is challenging. Knowing their physiology and how anaesthesia and surgery may impact them is mandatory. And although doing anaesthesia on neonates is challenging enough, doing research on neonates and infants is even more challenging. Research is fundamental for improving our knowledge and the patients’ outcomes, but it must be done in respect of ethic principles. It needs a lot of effort and patience!

How long have you been in ESPA?
Since ESPA was FEAPA. I attended the first congress in Athens (maybe 2008?). Then ESPA started and I knew I wanted to be part of this new-born society from the beginning. 

Why did you decide to join?
I love neonates as a part of my job, and I loved being a part of a “neonate society." However, in my opinion, ESPA had the challenging role of representing the entire European Paediatric Anaesthesia community - and I was right. Today, ESPA is one of the most important societies in Europe and a lot has been done to achieve that. But, as they say, the best is yet to come! 

What do you do in your spare time?
I love swimming, reading and travelling. These are three activities that I try to do on a regular basis.

What is a book or quote that has changed your life?
The very first book that I read is my favourite one called “Mastro Don Gesualdo” written by Giovanni Verga. I read this book when I was 16 years old. The author is from my same city (Catania) and one of the most important authors of the Italian classical literature (the father of realism). The book describes the Sicilian society of the late 800s. It has changed my life so much - I now love books and reading and I especially love my birthplace, Sicily because of this book. The main character is so realistically described that you only start to love him at the very end.

Quote: “Better a remorse than a regret” (literally translated from Italian). It means 'never say “no” to an opportunity!'

PA Conference 
Date: 5 - 7 May 2017
Location: Boston, MA, USA
Organizer: Boston Children's Hospital
and Harvard Medical School

CISEF International Conference
Date: 13 - 14 May 2017
Location: Genoa, Italy
Organizer: CISEF

PREM 2017
Date: 18 - 19 May 2017
Location: Vooruit, Ghent, Belgium
Organizer: The Ghent University Hospital

Date: 19 - 20 May 2017
Location: Belgrade, Serbia
Organizer: Professor Dusica Simic 


Summer PAIN School
Date: 3 June 2017
Location: Vinnytsia, Ukraine


Euroanaesthesia Congress
Date: 3 - 5 June 2017
Location: Geneva, Switzerland
Organizer: ESA

The SARNePI/ESPA Congress

Date: 22 - 24 June 2017
Location: Perugia, Italy
Organizer: SARNePI and ESPA 

The 9th ESPA European Congress on Paediatric Anaesthesia
Date: 28- 30 September 2017
Location: Glasgow, Scotland, UK
Organizer: ESPA


22-24 June 2017 


The Annual Meeting of the Italian Society of Pediatric Anesthesia (SARNePI) will be in Italy
this year and co-organised with ESPA!
Traditionally, the Congress runs from Thursday to Saturday, covering anaesthesia, intensive care and pain amongst children. In addition, several courses are being held in parallel to one another. The official language of the main session is English and the parallel sessions will run in Italian.

Registration is OPEN. We would love to see all of you there! 


We gratefully acknowledge our partners and all of the support they give to ESPA.

As a member of ESPA you are entitled to participate in one of the ESPA committees.
HERE to view for more information and how to get involved!

Did you know that as a member you can:
access the members-only area on the website which includes
on-line access to video recordings from ESPA congresses,
abstracts and other documents as well as access to the members directory?

If you are not a member, won't you join us? Click HERE to read about more why to join the greatest paediatric anaesthesiology society in Europe.
Connect with us!
It is the best way to stay informed and engaged with the ESPA community. 
We would love to hear from you!

Any ideas, comments, ANNOUNCEMENTS, or suggestions you have for future newsletters and
ESPA in general, please let us know. 
Copyright © 2016 European Society for Paediatric Anaesthesiology, All rights reserved.
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