What did you miss at #EuSEM16? St.Emlyn’s



“Patience and tranquillity of mind contribute more to cure our distempers as the whole of medicine” (Mozart)

Around the same time last year, I wrote a blog post that summarised the EuSEM 2015 congress’ academic and professional highlights.

I said in my final words as a conclusion that I was expecting a very exciting meeting the following year. Having attended the #EuSEM16 conference held in Vienna (Austria) earlier this month, I can say that I was not far from reality. Did you make it to the congress this year? If not, what have you missed?


Every medical conference nowadays is arguably judged on the number of tweets or generated debates that emanates from them. This in addition to the number of delegates that signed up for the event and the formal delegates/attendees’ feedbacks organised post-event.

fullsizerenderWith approximately 7,312,884 impressions, over 5,000 tweets working out as 55 average tweets per hour (data downloaded for the days of the conference only and checked on 12/10.2016), it is probably fair to say that the meeting was a success both live and online!

Approximately 2,200 delegates from Europe and further afar signed up to the event (as a comparison about 1,500 attended last year) and it was nice to meet up again with colleagues and friends.

I had extensively explored last year why I think you should attend the annual congress organised by EuSEM. In a nutshell, I just think the meeting is growing bigger, is good value for money, harnesses high-porfile speakers and the increasing number of attendees reflects the expanding popularity of Emergency Medicine in Europe. .




This year’s conference was held in the historical city of Vienna and the venue was simply breathtaking. The Hofburg Palace and its surrounding buildings, is the former imperial palace located in the centre of town and housed some of the most powerful ruling monarchs in european history. It came as no surprise then that the place was simply sumptuous: I do not think I have ever seen so many chandeliers in the same building before!






As usual, we were spoilt with a very rich conference programme collated by the EuSEM scientific committee with seven tracks (!) running in parallel. There was this year again a complete track run in the native language of the congress, which was German this year. We had dozens of eminent speakers from Europe and beyond delivering high-quality talks in the most magnificent rooms of the conference centre. Attempting to attend sessions often resulted in a running race between rooms but the widespread use of social media often allowed to follow talks happening simultaneously in an adjacent room.


One of the beauties of Social Media is that you can still catch up with the highlights of the meeting on Twitter using the hashtag #EuSEM16. Please do try to do so when reading this blog: there are some real pearls to retrieve but I am unable to cover the whole of the conference in a single post (apologies).

There are obviously a couple of things that cannot be replicated online on Twitter like the lively academic debates during Barbra Backus and Edd Carlton’s session on cardiac markers, the palpable energy one could feel when John Heyworth (past President of the Royal College of Emergency Medicine) delivered his talk about career satisfaction or the social/professional networking between EPs from across the globe.

Jason Smith, defence professor in emergency medicine opened the meeting on the first day giving a talk on military lessons for civilian practice concentrating on blast injures. This is increasingly relevant to civilian emergency practitioners with the constantly raising threat of terrorist attacks using improvised explosive devices anytime anywhere. Are you a hospital seeing trauma patients? It is worth reviewing your stock of tourniquets/plevic binders, massive haemorrhage and TEG protocols, consider using sim for team building exercises. Just a few personal thoughts that crossed my mind following Jason’s talk.

A legend on trauma emergency research and translational medicine, John Holcomb talked about the use of tranexamic acid in major traumatic haemorrhage, hopefully a now globally well implemented bleeding limiting practice nowadays. It is cheap, easy to administer and it works if administered within three hours of injury! (read up about this here if you have not yet)

My colleague and friend Zaf Qasim held a brilliant session about controversies in chest trauma reviewing myths, evidence and practice. I thought I knew it all as I am working in a major trauma centre with tertiary cardio-thoracic services on site. How wrong was I…

Andy Neill from Ireland gave a terrific talk on ketamine use in acute behavioural disturbance. Despite the lack of hard evidence out there, this is something I would consider as an alternative option in acutely agitated patients. I have, a few days after the conference seen it being used successfully in my department.  The recent controversies around droperidol use has made ketamine an emerging drug in managing this cohort of patients.

Do not take my word for it and please see the link included within this tweet to read/listen/watch some material related to Andy’s talk. Food for thought…

Simon Carley gave a keynote lecture on clinical decisions making in the resuscitation room. Simon explored the challenges of decision-making in the fast-paced environment that is emergency medicine where life-saving clinical decisions often need to be made in seconds. This great talk was in addition to another one on how to integrate FOAMed into your daily EM practice (some more reading here) and soft skills learning, mostly via simulation again.  Further additional reading homework for you here).

Iain Beardsell covered the podcasting in EM topic and demonstrated how easy this is to deliver by recording a live podcast on during his talk! Now after this, you really have no excuse…

He further talked about fatigue combat and resilience in EM. This is topic is close to our heart at StEmlyns and we have covered it via blogs and podcasts. My favourite quote from this talk: “would you fly a plane if you were a pilot who was tired and/or hungry?” I think we all know the answer to this question. Any particular reason why we cannot apply this simply rule to our daily practice?

Rick Body gave a revolutionary session on diagnosing acute coronary syndromes. You want to be fast, accurate and keep it simple? Then make sure you check out his slides on slideshare.net (link below)!

As we talk about acute coronary sydnromes and cardiac biomarker, I cannot not mention the excellent session delivered and chaired by Barbra Backus and Edd Carlton. The session was unique as the speakers triggered a lively debate engaging a multinational audience in the room. This was centred around the management of atrial fibrillation and risks taken when discharging that patient with chest pain from your ED. We need more interactive sessions like this at conferences (hint!)

Christian Hohenstein from Germany delivered a good summary talk about differentiating seizure and syncope diagnosis in the ED. It is not always an easy task even for the most experienced EP due to lack of history and the often shared clinical features between syncope and seizures. The talk was accompanied by a very illustrative and educational video clip (I am still searching for it online). Christian is unfortunately not very active on Twitter but we had some important take home messages from his talk.

My favourite session was most definitely the one delivered by John Heyworth (past-), Taj Hassan (current president of the @RCEM) and Professor Colin Graham. Colin is editor-in-chief of the European Journal of Emergency Medicine and is practicing EM in the metropolitan city of Hong Kong, another city that never sleeps. The amount of patients they see in their ED is phenomenal and just…scary! Colin talk of the cultural difference between the so-called western world and Hong Kong where there is a commuter train every minute (never late!). You can imagine that patients there are probably less tolerant to delays and waiting times than in Europe.

These colleagues delivered passionate and inspiring talks on resilience and career satisfaction for Emergency Physicians . Let us be honest, we do a tough job and regardless of where we work, we all can do with a little bit of this…






I think very few actually appreciate the importance of the professional networking that takes places during the so-called “social” events at conferences. This is the occasion to engage with colleagues from all corners of the globe, exchange ideas, discuss your local problems, share solutions.

Where else would you have the Presidents of the Royal College of Emergency Medicine, that of the European Society of Emergency Medicine and emergency physicians from across the world in the same room if not at the majestic EuSEM gala dinner?

The StEmlyns team were present in their usual 007 outfit! 🙂

Next year, EuSEM will be meeting in Athens for our 11th european congress. Greece is the country where democracy and free-thinking were born and I am sure the location in itself will provide and inspiration for this professional meeting I am already looking forward to.

See you all in Athens then? 🙂



@baombejp on Twitter

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Cite this article as: Janos Baombe, "What did you miss at #EuSEM16? St.Emlyn’s," in St.Emlyn's, October 23, 2016, https://www.stemlynsblog.org/a-summary-of-eusem16-and-what-you-have-missed/.

2 thoughts on “What did you miss at #EuSEM16? St.Emlyn’s”

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Thanks so much for following. Viva la #FOAMed

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