European Society for Paediatric Anaesthesiology             ISSUE #10 / December 2016

Dear Members,

2016 was a remarkable year for ESPA. First, we were able to share our ideas together with our friends and partners from various societies and conference organisers. One of our biggest successes was our first joint meeting with our colleagues and now friends from France. I am not talking about economic success or a record numbers of delegates. I am talking about the success to initiate a new collaboration with a very important part of Europe - and that is our French Neighbours. We will feed and water this small plant of hope with future joint conferences and meetings, and thankfully, two of our new ExBo members are representatives from the French speaking world. Also, from this side, many thanks and greetings to Anne Laffargue who was very supportive and has become an intimate friend of our society.

We agreed, for the second time, to organise a meeting with our close friends from Italy and a lot of our members are looking forward to the meeting in Perugia. This issue contains a short report about the highly successful meeting with the South African Paediatric Anaesthesia Society PACSA held in Bloemfontain.  Such a pity that I missed the chance to be there. It was fantastic as I heard from the delegates and a big hug to Johan Diedericks who made all this happen there.

ESPA is not only a congress organiser. This year, we started to work more closely with ESA and a lot of ESPA members finished the successful APRICOT study which was run by the European Society. Another milestone for our future will be the collaboration with our colleagues from the Paediatric Critical Care sector, the Society for Paediatric and Neonatal Intensive Care, ESPNIC. We will report later in 2017 about this exciting cooperation. Overall, these are only some aspects of our last year’s work and a lot will follow the next year. All members who are willing to work on these projects are more than welcome to join us and be part of this exciting young society.

I want to close with my deepest respect for our friends and co-workers in Belgrade. They did a terrific job and everybody was able to see how the dedicated people over there did everything to make this conference successful. Professor Dusica Simic and her team did a tremendous job and we all want to thank her again for the unforgettable moments.

Well, dear friends, after the conference is before the conference and I hope to meet you all again in Glasgow if not before.


Merry Christmas to all of you and a very peaceful and successful 2017.



Ehrenfried Schindler, President


Dr Peter Morris: 1933 - 2016
We honor his life today and everyday - he made a big impact on paediatric anaesthesia, FEAPA, and  in the lives he touched. Read more about his life and legacy HERE.
                  Become a member of the biggest European community of paediatric anaesthesiologists!
               To apply for membership, create your account HERE.

            **If you are already a member, spread the word**
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! 

Member and Future ESPA President 2017:
Dr. Francis Veyckemans  

 Where are you from and where do you live now?
  I was born in Brussels (Belgium) and I still live  there but I am  currently working in Lille (France).  
 What is your job title and did you always know  that you  wanted to do this as a career? If so,  how and when did you  know? If not, how did  you decide?
 I currently staff anaesthesiologists in the section of paediatric  anaesthesia at the Hôspital Jeanne de Flandre, the Mother-Child  Hospital of the academic hospital (CHRU) of Lille. 

In fact, I started as a GP in a small hospital in Burundi. I decided to become an anaesthesiologist when coming back to Belgium. My main interest was caring for neonates, infants and small children. I always tried improving myself in terms of knowledge, practical skills, and relationships. I was lucky to meet some people during scientific meetings that became friends and had the opportunity to participate to humanitarian missions. Thus, no career planning.

What is one of the best experiences you had
at work? One of the worst?

I was closely involved in procedural analgesia
for cancer children in Brussels: they
soon became little friends and taught me a
lot. Being unable to control terminal pain
was very difficult to bear.

Who do you admire and why?
From a professional point of view, I mostly admire Dr. TCK Brown, a famous paediatric anaesthesiologist who worked in Melbourne: his book was a major source of knowledge when I was a trainee and I was lucky to meet him many times in Melbourne, Brussels and many other places.

What do you enjoy doing in your free time (do you have free time)?
I have two main occupations during my free time: walking in the forest with my wife watching animals or taking care of my four grandchildren.

What is a book or film that had a big impact on your life?
I read a short biography of Dr. Tom Dooley  (a young American doctor who worked in Laos in the 1950's) when I was an adolescent and it changed my whole life's perspective. 
If you could give a piece of advice to the younger generation coming into the field, what would it be? 
I would like to quote parts of a lecture from LJ Saidman 1995; Anesthesiology published in
 83: 195 - 197.
  He referred to Peter's Principle:
 - Keep studying
 - Stay international
 - Apply the scientific method when doing research
 - A failure is not always a mistake
 - Be uncompromising regarding ethics
 - Have a lot of fun

What are you looking forward to the most in becoming the ESPA President 2017? 
I am looking forward to all of the initiatives to improve education in paediatric anaesthesia and its quality in all European countries. The results of APRICOT will be of great help to achieve this.

Any holiday plans? 
I usually go on holiday in June in the French Alps with my wife, but we are currently preparing a special trip to La Palma island (Canarias) in March for her birthday.

Anything else you would like to share that could be of great (or fun) use to ESPA members? 
When caring for a child, I think we should all share the Canadian Society for Anaesthesiologists' motto: Science, Vigilance and Compassion. 
If you have further questions or comments, please email Dr. Francis Veckemans -  
Thank you for a very inspiring interview!


The 8th Annual Congress of European Society for Paediatric Anaesthesiology took place in Belgrade, Serbia on September 29 – October 1, 2016 at the Crowne Plaza Hotel.   

There were:
• 362 participants from 52 countries
• 244 delegates
• 27 exhibitors
• 26 one day registrations
• 65 VIPs and free registrations  
• 137 delegates at 8 workshops
• Most delegates came from U.K. (59), Serbia (31) and the Netherlands (21)

From sponsors to workshops to the scientific programme, Belgrade was a great success.  Poster walks with prizes for the best ones, ESPA flags flying outside, and a beautiful dance ceremony by a very talented group of young children started off the Congress just right. And what would a Congress be without a social aspect?  The welcome drink with the band and dinner at the Kalemegdanska Terasa had the best view of the city. 

To view more photos, please click HERE.

ACCESS TO VIDEOS: The videos from the Congress are now on the ESPA website! Remember that you can only access them if you are an ESPA member.  Please click ''search video archive' on the main screen and you can click 'Belgrade.'

Once again, thank you to those who were able to attend. We hope you learned a lot and enjoyed the community of those around you.  If you were not able to make it, please join us in Glasgow next year! More information is below.

Meeting report: PACSA 2016, Bloemfontein, South Africa
November 11-13, 2016 in collaboration with ESPA
Neil S. Morton, Past-President, ESPA
I was delighted to attend the PACSA 2016 Congress as a representative of ESPA along with Tom Hansen and P-A Lonnqvist. We left the icy start of winter in Scotland, Denmark, and Sweden and arrived safely at the Emoya Estate outside Bloemfontein to be greeted by a massive thunder and lightning storm. What a dramatic start to a memorable weekend.  The local people were very grateful that we brought some rain with us after a very prolonged period of drought but nobody expected such a deluge! However, several hardy delegates and speakers tried to redress the fluid balance by sampling a few large local beers in the on-site shebeen (from the Irish sibin: an illicit bar or club) whilst watching England beating South Africa at rugby and (even worse) Scotland getting beaten by France at football!
The collegiality of this Congress was excellent with over 100 delegates from all over South Africa, some from other African countries and a few from the UK and Europe. Adrian Bosenberg currently in Seattle was welcomed home to his native land and Charles Cote and his wife Annette Schure from Boston were also guest speakers. Our host Johan Diedericks and his team were most hospitable and put together a fantastic programme of lectures and workshops in collaboration with PACSA and ESPA involving excellent South African speakers and the six international guest speakers. In my opinion it was one of the best meetings in terms of clinically relevant content that I have attended and the topics gelled together beautifully. The questions and discussions during and after the sessions were very informative. For me the highlight was sitting over lunch gazing across a grassy vista dotted with rhinos, ostriches, giraffes and other beautiful animals and birds.
The first morning comprised workshops on Managing Emergencies in Paediatric Anaesthesia (MEPA), the difficult airway and lung separation and ultrasound guided regional anaesthesia. The lectures over two and a half days covered monitoring, airway management, sedation, pain management, cardiac anaesthesia, neurotoxicity, neonatal anaesthesia, regional anaesthesia and anaesthetic morbidity and mortality. A remarkable standard of presentation was maintained throughout the congress and it was striking how much new and up-to-date material was covered. It was interesting to hear perspectives from Europe, the UK, the USA and Africa on many of the important topics and particularly fascinating to have insightful comments from Charlie Cote, Bosie, Jenny Thomas, PA and Tom in the room. Audience questions and comments were thoughtful and very relevant and suggested to me that the delegates felt really engaged with this meeting. Informal feedback in the few days after the congress was that this was the best PACSA meeting ever and I am pleased that ESPA was able to contribute to its success. I hope this will be the start of a beautiful friendship between ESPA and PACSA!

For more information on PACSA, please click HERE.



Emoya Estate in Bloemfontein, South Africa
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 HERE. 

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

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.

We would love to see all of you there! 

28 - 30 Septmber 2017 


It is our great pleasure and honour to invite you to our 9th European Congress on Paediatric Anaesthesia which is being held 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.

Join us! More details to come.


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.
Click HERE to view for more information and how to get involved!
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. 
ESPA 2016
Opening Ceremony
Author: Dr Ivana Petrov
University Childrens Hospital, Belgrade

Ladies and Gentlemen
We are proud to present
Dance factory
World champions in contemporary dance 
This is Masa
She is a hard working girl
Training every day for hours and hours
...but you know well what hard working means
...because you are anaesthetist

Actually,paediatric anaesthetist
Most of the time you are tired
You are working long hours
Standing in the operating room
Not sleeping enough
Not eating enough
Not enough time for your own kids
... Your husbands and wives

Your job is taking care of little patients  
their worried parents,
Taking care of surgeons
Taking care of your colleagues and friends
Who understand you
Or don`t understand you at all

But you lean on them
And they lean on you
Because it is important to have someone to lean on
Someone to pick you up

When you fall down
When you are sad
Your little patients
take up the most room in your heart
You can`t stop admiring their strength to fight
…to live
…to get what they want

So, let them teach you
What you forgot…
To be happy for no reason
to jump
walk barefoot in the grass
...hug teddy bears
…watch cartoons
…eat with fingers
...believe in Santa
believe in fairy tales

Children are our most precious
Helping them is what you do
Every day but

Don’t worry
You will be fine
As long as you let children teach you
What having a heart means

children don`t care how much you know until
They know how much you care
Actually, if you didn’t know
The heart is a very elastic organ
If you let a lot of people in it
…it will grow
…and be stronger

Stretch your heart

Copyright © 2016 European Society for Paediatric Anaesthesiology, All rights reserved.
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