By Yasser B. Abulhasan, MBChB, FRCPC, Chairman, Neurocritical Care-MENA Chapter of IPACCMS
The International Pan Arab Critical Care Medicine Society (IPACCMS) and the AsianAfrican Conference of the World Federation of Societies of Intensive and Critical Care Medicine (WFSICCM) conduct their annual meeting in conjunction with the Emirates Critical Care Conference (ECCC) around the first weekend of April in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. Since 2011, the Neurocritical Care Society (NCS) has endorsed and participated in the full day neurocritical care track discussing the latest development in the field of neurocritical care and challenges faced by ICU physicians caring for critically ill neurosurgical/neurological patients. Because of this collaboration, our society was one of the first global partners of the NCS secondary to bilateral efforts led by Dr. Khalid Shukri, Dr. Hussain Al-Rahma and collaborators from the IPACCMS side with NCS leadership at the time. NCS leadership has since been invited to sit during the Neurocritical Care MiddleEast and North Africa (NCC-MENA) chapter of the IPACCMS’s annual meeting, which takes place during the conferences’ leadership meetings.
Over the years, the neurocritical care track of the conference has continued to grow in a steady pace by increased societal participation, increased number of speakers and lectures, increased track attendance and more engaged attendees discussing challenging cases. As a milestone, the Emergency Neurological Life Support (ENLS) course was introduced in the region as part of the April 2016 conference. During this year’s conference (April 2018), there were 22 presented lectures in the track covering diverse topics that included hemorrhagic and ischemic stroke updates, monitoring and procedures in the neuroICU as well as general topics that included imaging for non-neurologist, electrolyte disturbances and prognostication. ENLS was offered as a pre-conference course by five ENLS trainers. This was the second time ENLS took place and it is anticipated to be part of the ECCC every year. Hats off to Dr. Katja Wartenberg, who leads the neurocritical care track and ENLS in the scientific committee.
Overall, the conference was attended by 1,600 delegates between April 5-7, 2018. Of the 211 speakers delivering 280 lectures, 43 percent were international, 25 percent regional and 32 percent local. Speakers came from 56 countries. Additionally, 14 workshops and courses were conducted as part of the conference, including ENLS. These total numbers do reflect the growth, international nature, and multidisciplinary teams attending the conference and care for critically ill patients. On a lighter note, social activities brought all together in an informal manner with entertainment, offline interactions and networking. A dinner water cruise at Dubai Creek and a visit of the seasonal Global Village were among these recreation activities.
As the result of the NCC-MENA chapter meeting and discussions with NCS leadership, the first NCS Middle East/Africa Regional Meeting is planned to be held in Dubai in association with the 15th ECCC/14th IPACCMS/10th Asia Africa Conference of the WFSICCM, April 4-6, 2019. The objectives of the upcoming meeting are to facilitate the NCS’s defined mission to further promote quality patient care, facilitate professional collaboration with our region, discuss research ideas and start initiatives, introduce members of our MENA region to possible specialized training opportunities in established neurocritical care units worldwide, and improve standards in existing units that our society would like to explore. Hopefully, this long lasting collaborative effort and defined objectives help advocate patient-centered care and improve outcomes of neurocritical care patients in the challenging Middle East/Africa region. Additionally, our region is yet to explore the full potentials of the multidisciplinary team approach paradigm of care in neurocritical care. This task is definitely worth tackling by utilizing multidirectional efforts.
For now, save the dates April 4-6, 2019. We do look forward to welcoming you in Dubai.#NCSRoundup #International #MiddleEast #Africa #YasserBAbulhasan #June2018