Programme highlight: Respiratory critical care

Respiratory critical care at Congress:

Respiratory failure remains to be the principal reason for intensive care admissions; it is fitting then that 'Respiratory critical care' is one of eight main tracks at this year's Congress with activities appealing to the multidisciplinary teams involved in the critical care process.

The respiratory critical care track includes an array of educational and scientific sessions including a symposium on 'New trends in the management of difficult-to-wean patients', a postgraduate course on 'Noninvasive ventilation-pitfalls and challenges', a state-of-the-art session on 'Respiratory critical care', a skills workshop on 'Essential skills for the intensive care unit' and a meet-the-expert session on the 'Management of pulmonary and critical care disease during pregnancy', plus much more.*

Use the programme to find all related sessions

To search for sessions specifically linked to the topic of respiratory critical care you can use the online search tool; simply access the online programme, click on 'Advance' and select 'Respiratory Critical Care' from the 'Track' options. The programme can also be used to search for keywords, speakers and dates.

Hear from ERS officers

ERS has a dedicated assembly for respiratory intensive care – made up of healthcare professionals and scientists from around the world and led by experts in this field; head of the ERS Assembly on Respiratory Intensive Care Professor Rafaelle Scala (RS), assembly secretary Professor Leo Heunks (LH), and the early-career representative Lieuwe Bos (LB) offer us some insight into this year's event.

What can professionals specialising in this area expect to gain from attending this year's Congress?

RS: Attendants with a special interest in respiratory intensive care will have the chance this year to improve their theoretical knowledge and the practical skills at the ERS Congress in several emerging and traditional issues. This is likely to have a favourable impact on both research stimulus and practical activities of the different professional figures who deal with critically ill respiratory patients. The multidisciplinary vision of our Assembly is enhanced further during this year's Congress, giving attendants the opportunity to exchange their cultural knowledge with other tracks that have a large overlap with Respiratory Intensive Care, such as Interstitial lung disease, respiratory infection, clinical problems, and more.

What in your opinion will be the popular topics in this field at this year's Congress and what will be particular highlight for you?

LH: First of all, recent studies provide new insights in to the treatment of acute hypoxemic failure. I am excited to hear from experts in the field whether there is still a role for noninvasive ventilation, or whether we should use high flow nasal cannula instead. This topic is addressed in several sessions and I am sure we will have exciting discussions.

Secondly, weaning from mechanical ventilation is a very important topic in the field of respiratory critical care. The best strategy to liberate a patient from the ventilator is subject of debate, and more insight has become available that helps us to understand why patients are difficult to wean from the ventilator. During this year's ERS International Congress, several sessions focus on difficult weaning; I am looking forward to hearing expert opinions and hope we will have interactive session.

As an early-career professional with a focus on respiratory critical care, why is the upcoming Congress valuable to career development?

LB: There is something to gain for everyone; no matter if you're in the clinic, in the lab or both. Clinicians should visit the Game Zone and courses to work on their skills; there are several very good Postgraduate Courses for pulmonologists (in-training) with a focus on acute pulmonary disease. Researchers should definitely visit the two Poster Discussions on critical care with a new, more interactive, format this year. All early-career members can join the early-career member session on Tuesday afternoon followed by drinks and a networking event to meet your peers, but more importantly, the seniors who are normally unreachable. This is the place to talk about fellowships, collaborations and new research ideas.

You can join the ERS Assembly on Respiratory Intensive Care using our online platform myERS and ensure that you are kept up to date with developments and opportunities in this area.

* Note: Educational sessions (postgraduate courses, skills workshops, professional development workshops and meet the expert sessions) can be attended at an additional cost to the standard registration fee.