Foremost, I have to thank the team at ESICM and Dr. Adrian Wong and Joel Alexandre (CEO) for inviting me to cover the event for Social Media and #FOAMed. When I think back to much earlier conferences across Europe and the lack of good social media coverage, it is clear that over the past number of years we have come a very long way! As well as the presentations, ePosters and content being freely available online for #FOAMed use, we now cover conferences on social media in real-time, allowing those across the world to access content that is potentially practice-changing, from the comfort of their own twitter feed. Technology is better, WIFI is stellar and Melia Castilla in Madrid has been an excellent conference centre with lovely amenities and very courteous staff.
Pleasantries out of the way, what do I make of the conference so far? ESICM continues to deal with the dichotomy between the scientist and the physician very well by essentially offering content that is suitable for both. Prizing highly academic and scientific content, it essentially separated 'major' content into sections, with Day 1 focusing on physiology and application of such science to clinical practice and day 2 focusing on more clinical conundrums alongside the rudimentary scientific investigations.
There has been a focus on mechanical ventilation as well as oesophageal and diaphragmatic muscle movement - with some key messages outlined below. Perhaps a more poorly understood area of our practice is SLEEP in ICU patients, which was dealt with expertly by Dr Demoule of France yesterday. Sleep is profoundly disturbed in ICU with a myriad of clinical and humanitarian (!) consequences for our patients. Many of the slides and take-home messages are included in my trawl of graphics below.
Oesophageal pressures have been illuminated to me, as a clinician who has never had the opportunity to use NAVA or an oesophageal pressure probe. Getting to speak to a number of PhD students in technical medicine has shown me its potential use and applications to the patient; again illustrated in some of the slides below. I do think there is still a lot of work to be done in these areas before we can be entirely incorporating of the devices in ICU. It may come a day where they are standard pieces of kit.
There were interesting talks on respiratory drive and its relevance to ICU ventilation - and continuing on this theme, how 'strong' spontaneous breathing may not be particularly beneficial for patients on assist.... more on that in Day 2's review.
Dead-space monitoring was again a fascinating topic and the industry specialists were showing off their wares in the sponsor's area. It was useful to be able to see the Bohr equation used in real-time! Dr Wong commented how it is unusual to routinely use dead-space monitoring and I would tend to agree. The idea is that it helps with prognosticating in ARDS patients and had a variety of uses in ECMO and permissive hypercapnia - most importantly, it seems to help with PEEP selection and has 'a potential' to monitor lung over-distension. (More info in the slides below).
A whirlwind tour though radiological history showed us what we have learned from CT scans with respect to ARDS and none other than Prof Gattinoni discussed the developments since 1986 right up to 2018. It's amazing what we can see of ARDS on a CT scan of the chest as well as uptake scans, showing true perfusion and ventilation. Not a session whereby it was encouraged for all patients to get a CT scan, just rather what they have shown us throughout the years as fidelity has increased (More info in slides below)
Lots more to say about Day 1 and lots of info in the slides below - but do continue to follow @Gas_Craic on twitter and #LUNG18 for all the conference pearls, slides and discussions as they unfold.
Take care & speak soon!
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