Opening the Symposium and welcoming you to Athens will be NATA Chair Jens Meier (Kepler University Hospital, Linz, Austria). Meier will take a look at the evolution of PBM and how it has changed since NATA formed as an independent medical association in 1998. He will also highlight some of the changes that have occurred within NATA in the past couple of years.
This will be the 23rd Annual Symposium but it marks the 25th Anniversary of NATA as a medical organisation. Its return to an in-person event is important, according to Meier. Indeed, after 2 years of having virtual meetings, it will be good to finally meet with colleagues from around world again as this provides the optimal environment for discussion and networking.
To help celebrate the 25th Anniversary NATA will host a 24-hour World Webinar PBM Marathon after the main sessions of the Symposium have taken place on Friday. This unique event will be held in collaboration with medical societies around the world.
“The problems in patient blood management all over the world are to some extent the same, but to some other extents, very, very specific to one country,” Meier says. “There are countries, for example, that are very good in restrictive transfusion thresholds, which is one part of patient blood management. Other countries are very, very good in point of care monitoring and modern coagulation therapy. Other countries are very good in preparing patients with preoperative anaemia, so the hurdles or the pitfalls might differ from country to country.”
Each participating medical society has developed its own programme to ensure that the issues relating to PBM that are discussed will be relevant to the audience.
As for changes within NATA: “We have had a pretty fresh start since the COVID pandemic,” says Meier. “We have a new Board of Directors and a new organisation that deals with the congress.”
Roles that have changed within the organisation include Meier taking over the role of Chair of the Board of Directors and Sigismond Lasocki (University Hospital Angers, France) taking on the role of Chair of the Scientific Committee. Toby Richards (University College London, UK) acts as Treasurer and new members of the board include Ravishankar Rao Baikady (The Royal Mardsen NHS Foundation Trust, London, UK), Aurora Espinosa (Oslo University Hospital, Norway), Sarah Lessire (Université Catholique de Louvain, Belgium), Vernon Louw (University of Cape Town, South Africa) and Patrick Meybohm (University Hospital Würzburg, Germany).
“NATA brings everyone who deals with patient blood management together,” says Meier, which is what makes it so special as an organisation and as a congress.
“Patient blood management is a concept that deals with treatment of the patient throughout their whole journey, whenever there is a connection to the medical system”, says Meier. “We are interdisciplinary; we are also not only for doctors, but also for nurses and general practitioners.”
NATA’s mission is to provide a forum that enables everyone with an interest in PBM to have the opportunity to learn from each other, work together and share best practice. That includes people working in medical disciplines such as anaesthesiology, haematology, intensive care and emergency medicine, general surgery, and transfusion medicine.
“Membership to NATA is open to everyone,” Meier says. “If someone is interested in joining us, they are very welcome to become part of our organisation.”
Fostering new research is an important part of the continued advancement of PBM and there will be a dedicated workshop specifically for young researchers on Saturday morning. This will “focus on research in PBM and successfully getting your work accepted for publication in leading journals,” says Meier. This workshop is for on-site attendees only and requires separate registration and will enable young researchers who may not have been to the main Symposium to participate.
NATA is also keen to foster collaboration around the world and the 24-hour World Webinar PBM Marathon is a good example of this commitment. This unique online event will start and end in Athens, travelling though Latin America, North America, Australasia, South Africa, the Middle East and Africa during the course of its 24 hours. For more information and to register for the different live sessions visit the NATA website ‘Live webinars’ page.
*Presentations are available for registered delegates to view until end of July 2023.