Who should be President of Congress and why
Interview with Congress President Prof. Dr. Eberhard Uhl on ANIM 2021: Neuro-intensive care physicians with new findings
Kerstin Aldenhoff Press office
German Society for Neuro-Intensive and Emergency Medicine
The effects of the COVID-19 pandemic are clearly noticeable in neuro-intensive medicine, says Prof. Dr. Eberhard Uhl, Congress President of ANIM 2021, which will take place digitally for the first time from January 21-23, 2021. The corona pandemic is also a current topic at the center of this year's presidential symposium. New findings on the other diseases in the field of neurological and neurosurgical intensive medicine and neurosurgery are also being discussed when doctors and nurses exchange information on a comprehensive update. In the interview, Prof. Uhl gives first insights into conference topics, highlights and current developments in neuro-intensive medicine.
The ANIM has established itself as one of the most important neurological-neurosurgical conferences in German-speaking countries. What are the special challenges this year and what are your priorities as Congress President?
Professor Uhl: “The ANIM 2021 is a special congress in many ways. For the first time, the ANIM will take place digitally, so that this year the exchange of scientific expertise will not take place, as usual, in a face-to-face meeting, but online. This will be a particular challenge for the congress organizers and participants. Although the corona pandemic dominated the public media, but also medical science for the past year, we must not neglect other diseases and must maintain their treatment unchanged even under the currently difficult conditions. In the research area, too, we are not only allowed to deal with COVID-19. We have selected the interdisciplinary management of cerebellar emergencies, minimally invasive therapy for intracerebral hemorrhage and primary care for traumatic brain injury as the main scientific topics. The last two topics in particular will be of increasing importance in the next few years due to the demographic development in Germany. "
What does the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic mean for doctors, nurses and therapists and their exchange? What new findings are being presented?
Professor Uhl: “Such a complex crisis can only be mastered through the joint efforts of all people working in the medical field, so an exchange of knowledge across professional boundaries is of great importance here. The allocation of resources in particular currently plays a major role. Although the COVID-19 pandemic may only have an indirect impact on neuro-intensive medicine, its effects are nevertheless clearly noticeable. Above all, this relates to the need for patients with neurological / neurosurgical diseases to continue to be guaranteed optimal care when resources in the intensive care sector are becoming scarcer. On the other hand, the knowledge that the virus also affects the nervous system, which can possibly lead to neuro-intensive medical complications. With the support of Prof. Julian Bösel, we were able to plan an ad hoc symposium on this topic at the ANIM. We will only be able to assess in the next few years to what extent neurological long-term damage is caused by the virus. The topic of COVID-19 will therefore probably occupy more space at the ANIM in the coming years, since the first secured data will then also be available from the neuro-intensive medicine area. "
The discussion about structures in neuro-intensive and emergency medicine and neuro-emergency medicine in the central emergency room will be an important congress topic. How can the care of seriously ill neurological and neurosurgical patients be improved nationwide?
Professor Uhl: “From my point of view, neurointensive medicine is an elementary component in the care of patients with cerebral and spinal diseases and is fundamentally differentiated from general intensive medicine in terms of diagnosis and therapy. Sufficient intensive care beds are available nationwide, but there is often a shortage of personnel, especially in the nursing area, so that not all beds can be occupied. In addition, more and more neurological and neurosurgical intensive care patients are being cared for in interdisciplinary intensive care units. This decline in intensive care units run neurologically and, in particular, neurosurgery is a trend that must be resolutely counteracted. The main problem is the lack of qualified doctors and intensive care staff. Great efforts must be made here to solve this problem in the medium term and to make neuro-intensive care medicine, which competes with other disciplines for the best and most committed minds, attractive. Modern training concepts, consideration of variable working time models also in the intensive care units, which enable part-time and family planning, as well as an improvement of the structural working conditions in the intensive care units must be developed and implemented in order to attract more and more young colleagues both in the medical and nursing fields for neuro-intensive care medicine to be able to. This is the only way to ensure comprehensive and adequate neurointensive medical care at a high level in the long term. "
The ANIM is again set up in a diverse way: in cooperation with other specialist societies, interdisciplinary, interprofessional and international. Which conference topics are particularly close to your heart?
Professor Uhl: “In addition to the main topics already mentioned, the ANIM again offers a broad spectrum of topics from the neuro-intensive medical field, which not only includes the most important clinical pictures, but also ranges from preclinical emergency care to the first rehabilitation measures. In addition to the scientific symposia on specific topics, there is again a wide range of further and advanced training not only for doctors, but also for the nursing professions. I am also pleased that we were able to win neuroradiology colleagues again for a symposium, a field without which modern, high-quality neuro-intensive medicine would be inconceivable. Just as important are the sessions with free lectures and e-posters, which are intended to give young scientists in particular the opportunity to present and discuss their research results. "
A special highlight of the congress is again the presidential symposium, which is traditionally very personal and thematically free. Which topic did you choose?
Professor Uhl: "Due to the topicality and the intervening measures that affect not only the medical field but all public life in Germany, the corona pandemic is the focus of this year's presidential symposium. In addition to the political decisions on coping with the pandemic, the problem of resource allocation in intensive care medicine in this crisis will also be examined. We are therefore very pleased that we are working with Federal Chancellery Minister Dr. Gert Helge Braun and Prof. Dr. Christian Karagiannidis were able to win two outstanding speakers, both of whom are deeply involved in this matter. We are therefore very much looking forward to these lectures and hope for a lively and lively discussion among our congress participants. "
Neuro-intensive medicine has developed rapidly. What developments could contribute to further improvement with a view to the next few years?
Professor Uhl: “The further development in neuro-intensive medicine is only conceivable in an interdisciplinary manner in close cooperation with the various specialist areas and further advances in the technical area. One example is the introduction of endovascular thrombectomy, which has led to significantly improved care for stroke patients. The corona pandemic has shown how important the expansion of digital networks is for the exchange of information, which in the future could also be increasingly important for the telemedical care of neurologically / neurosurgery patients who cannot be treated in neuro-intensive care units. Digital networking should also lead to a more comprehensive collection of patient data in all stages of the disease, including the rehabilitation phase, which could facilitate the initiation and implementation of multicenter studies. For example, the German Society for Neurosurgery, in cooperation with the German Society for Trauma Surgery, recently established a Germany-wide data register for recording patients with severe traumatic brain injury who are treated in intensive care to supplement the existing trauma register. An improvement in the quality of treatment can only be expected in the long term by analyzing large amounts of data, including image data. The imaging has to evolve from the pure anatomical representation of a current status through the representation of metabolic and functional cerebral processes. The development of biomarkers as surrogate markers for the establishment of a diagnosis, for the assessment of a clinical condition, for the prognosis assessment and for the course assessment or for the assessment of the success of the intervention can supplement or replace the imaging. These are just a few areas of research that have the potential to make a significant contribution to progress in neuro-intensive care medicine in the near future. "
Thank you very much for the interview!
Further information and the complete program for ANIM 2021 can be found on the congress homepage at www.anim.de
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