By Yasser B. Abulhasan, MBChB, FRCPC, chairman, Neurocritical Care-MENA chapter of IPACCMS
It was a great pleasure to be tasked by the congress chairman, Dr. Assem Abdel Razek, to collaborate with the scientific committee and organize the neurocritical care tracks for the 13th Pan Arab Critical Care Congress in association with the 7th Annual Congress of the Egyptian Society of Critical Care and Emergency Medicine, Intercontinental Cairo Citystars, Nasr City, Cairo, Egypt (Nov. 19-21, 2019). This demonstrated the recognition, importance of advanced neurocritical care practice and the ongoing need for specialized education in the region.
The pre-congress activities commenced on Nov. 17, with six workshops. Emergency Neurological Life Support (ENLS) 4.0 was conducted pre-congress on Nov. 18. The official start of the congress was Nov. 19.
On day 1, the full-day neurocritical care track included presentations on hypothermia after cardiac arrest, status epilepticus management, subarachnoid hemorrhage, intracerebral hemorrhage and ischemic stroke care, including the experience from Cairo and its outreach.
On day 2, Nov. 20, the half-day track and breakout sessions included presentations on ICU sedation, traumatic brain injury management and prognosis, brain death and organ donation. An expert panel discussing three controversial neurocritical care cases, and two pro-con debates were new editions to the neurocritical care scientific program in Cairo. Although I was initially skeptical how the audience might perceive these sessions, they turned out successful. The congress was endorsed by the Neurocritical Care Society (NCS), and the after-congress feedback received from attendants was encouraging.
Overall, 1,038 registrants attended the conference. One-hundred seventeen speakers (72 local, 23 regional and 22 international) delivered the various lectures and workshops. Speakers came to Cairo from 16 countries highlighting safety of the capital after a rough decade. During conference hours, networking and offline interactions kept NCS members busy. While during off-conference hours, the culture of ancient Cairo was a huge attraction to all, and the early morning horseback trip around the Great Pyramids of Giza, Necropolis was surreal.
Neurocritical care was well presented in the 13th Pan Arab Critical Care Congress. Neurocritical care track and ENLS speakers were Tamer Abdelhak, Yasser B. Abulhasan, Hosam Al-Jehani, Mark Angle, Jean Daniel Chiche, Eman Elmarakby, Mona Elsayed, Jamil Dibu, Akram Fayed, Galen Henderson, Saef Izzy, Edward Manno, Michel Torbey and Janice Zimmerman. The ENLS director was Tamer Abdelhak.
I would like to acknowledge Michel Torbey and Tamer Abdelhak for their assistance in organizing the neurocritical care track for this event.
Global Partnership Milestones
Since 2011, the NCC-MENA chapter of International Pan Arab Critical Care Medicine Society (IPACCMS) has been one of the first global partners of the NCS. ENLS was offered in the region since 2016. In October 2018, the NCS confirmed the first Mideast/Africa NCS Board of Directors member to represent the region. In April 2019, the 1st Neurocritical Care Middle East/Africa Regional Meeting was conducted in Dubai.
Save the date for Sept. 3-5, 2020 as we look forward to welcoming you all in Dubai for the 2nd Neurocritical Care Regional Meeting of the Middle East/Africa currently re-scheduled because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Please stay safe!