Posted on October 20, 2015

Hamad Medical Corporation (HMC) recently celebrated the 169th anniversary of Ether Day with a two day conference held at the Hajar auditorium. The event, jointly organized by HMC’s Department of Anesthesiology, the Intensive Care Unit (ICU), Perioperative Medicine and the Department of Cardiothoracic Anesthesia and CT-ICU at Heart Hospital, featured a number of presentations by international and local speakers. Around 400 attendees comprising surgeons, anesthetists, nurses and intensive care unit staff took part in a scientific sessions organized as part of activities marking the day.

The conference highlighted various aspects of anesthesia by featuring leading international specialists in the field including Prof John Myburgh, Prof. of Intensive Care Medicine, University of New South Wales and Senior Intensive Care Physician at St George Hospital, Sydney; and Prof. Hugo Van Aken, Professor and Chairman of the Department of Anesthesiology, Intensive Care Medicine and Pain Therapy, University Hospital, Munster, Germany. Dr. Abdul Rasheed Pattath, Head of Cardiothoracic Anesthesia at Heart Hospital said the day commemorated the advent of anesthesia as a specialty on October 16, 1846.

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“This breakthrough ranks as one of the most significant events in the history of medicine. The discovery made it possible for patients to obtain the benefits of surgical treatment without the pain associated with it,” he said. Prof. Abraham E Marcus, Chair of Department of Anesthesiology, ICU and Perioperative Medicine and Patron of the Organizing Committee for the event stated that the team of anesthesiologists is as relevant as the surgical team, saying that both teams provide medical care to patients prior to, during and after surgery.

He said more than 50,000 patients receive anesthesia services at HMC every year. “Anesthesia has a positive impact on health care in general, especially when performing more complex surgical operations such as open heart surgeries, neurosurgeries and many more, most of which were not possible prior to the discovery of anesthesia. In addition, anesthesiologists play a vital role in the care of critically ill patients in the intensive care units.”

Prof. Marcus highlighted that the symposium discussed various topics ranging from neurocritical care and its relation to recent advances in stroke management to new concepts in cardiothoracic anesthesia and surgery and the impact of recent research on fluid management for patients.  “All sessions were well received and our departments will continue to strive to improve patient care through the sharing of knowledge and research,” he added.

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