President's Update (December 26, 2012)

Ashish SinhaSince the ASA meeting in Chicago in 2011, I have been the president of ISPCOP. I wish to update all members, as well as visitors to the web site, about our activities since then. After the elections and new slate of officers ISPCOP has been rejuvenated and has tackled its stated goals involving improving knowledge sharing about perioperative care of the obese patient with renewed vigor.

Starting in March 2012, at the World Congress of Anesthesia (WCA) in Buenos Aires, Argentina; a large number of our society members made multiple presentations. Professor Adrian Alvarez, the founder president of ISPCOP had arranged a day long obesity symposium which was housed in one of the largest halls at the WCA. As is wont to happen at most anesthesia meetings, obesity related sessions are in high demand. Apprehension about the optimal care of their obese patient makes these kinds of session of major interest to everyone in the field of anesthesia, and correspondingly hundreds of attendees attended the WCA obesity session. It was a very successful enterprise with good information and very satisfying for the presenters to see so much interest in the area of our expertise. We have had exceedingly good feedback regarding the obesity symposium, both from formal and informal channels. The Hong Kong organizers of WCA 2016 have already been approached regards organizing a similar symposium at that event.

In September 2012, at the XVII World Congress IFSO 2012, I was invited to co-organize a “Current Controversies in the Anesthetic management of the Morbidly Obese” course along with two other Course Directors. This was attended by nearly 200 participants. This shows again that there is a real scarcity of, along with a corresponding thirst for knowledge regarding any anesthetic involving obese patients.

At the 2012 American Society of Anesthesiologists Annual Meeting in Washington DC, we had a very successful showing. Thanks to the efforts of organizing and fundraising by Anu Wadhwa MD, our Vice President for Education, and others, we were able to have our first annual ISPCOP Symposium, entitled “Current Controversies in Obesity Anesthesia”. We had six short but informative talks from our experts discussing the evidence base and expert opinion on key anesthetic questions. This event was followed by a nice dinner. Thanks to our sponsors, Covidien and LMA North America, we were able to provide information and food to all our attendees at no cost.

At the same ASA meeting, a few society members, including Drs. Jay Brodsky, Anu Wadhwa, Jan Mulier, and myself along with Patrick Neligan and Babatunde Ogunnaike presented a panel on Morbid and Ultra Obesity, which was attended by nearly 300 attendees. Our feedback from that session has also been excellent. Drs. Roman Schumann, Stephanie Jones, Frances Chung and Michael Ramsay took on a different aspect of obesity in the panel “Inflammation in Obstructive Sleep Apnea, Metabolic Syndrome and Obesity: How Can Perioperative Anesthetic Care Make a Difference?” which was also well-received.

After nomination and elections, last month Dr Stephanie Jones was unanimously elected President-elect. She will assume the mantle of president of ISPCOP at the end of ASA 2013 in San Francisco. Nominations will be solicited for President-elect, Vice-President for Research, Vice-President for Education, Treasurer and Secretary, as well as open Board of Director positions, prior to the ISPCOP business meeting at the 2013 ASA in San Francisco. ISPCOP will meet on Monday October 14th evening for its Second Current Controversies in Obesity Anesthesia symposium.

Concerns about how to increase membership remain and we plan to start sending email invitations to join this society. Society officers and board members have made it a point to show slides with ISPCOP membership information as part of their presentation and this has generated much interest in the audience. We have recently also transferred web master activity to a new individual who has promptly update d the website and made it current, including fresh information regards membership. I hope to see this translate into many new members. For current members this is a gentle reminder to pay your dues for the next membership year.

Looking forward to 2013, ISPCOP will have a presence at the European Society of Anaesthesiology meeting, with a program led by Drs. Jan Mulier, Luc De Baerdemaeker and Michael Margarson. I am trying to repeat the 120 minute panel on Morbid Obesity at the 2013 ASA meeting in San Francisco, we will find out soon if it is picked up by the committee on Fundamentals in Anesthesia.

And finally, to all who read this Holiday Greetings and Best wishes for a very happy and prosperous New Year!

Ashish Sinha MBBS MD PhD DABA
Professor and Vice Chairman
Anesthesiology & Perioperative Medicine
Drexel University College of Medicine
Hahnemann University Hospital
Philadelphia, PA 19102
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