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In the limelight: Emergency medicine

ESC Congress News 2019 - Paris, France

Emergency medicine makes a strong appearance at ESC Congress 2019, with a series of four back-to-back sessions today, organised in collaboration with the Acute Cardiovascular Care Association and the Société Française de Cardiologie.

Acute Cardiac Care

Prof. Pascal VranckxProfessor Pascal Vranckx (Hartcentrum Hasselt, Hasselt, Belgium) from the Acute Cardiovascular Care Association and Doctor Patrick Goldstein (Lille University Hospital, Lille, France) from the Société Française de Cardiologie and SFMU (French Society of Emergency Medicine) discuss the importance of developing a robust emergency care system and how today’s sessions can help the cardiovascular community work towards this.

“Emergency medical care bridges the community response and the medical response—we need to make sure that these phases are working well and working together. The French emergency medical system is one of the best in Europe and the ESC is delighted to offer the Société Française de Cardiologie the centre stage by building joint sessions with the Acute Cardiovascular Care Association.

What happens to the patient in the cardiology department depends on what happens to them in the emergency care stage.

The initial stage of the emergency medical care is the community response; it is all about awareness, behaviour and reaction of bystanders—we need to educate the population to recognise and act upon emergency situations. Creating a uniform emergency number, such as a unique ‘112’ for the whole Europe, can also help to save precious time. We must train the public—in school and beyond—so that they can perform first-aid interventions, which can mean the difference between life and death. It is the responsibility of the medical community to ensure that the need for this type of training is recognised by governments and is placed high on the political agenda.

Emergency medical dispatch forms the first part of the professional response and the dispatcher must be able to locate and prioritise emergencies and also guide the person on the scene through phone-assisted cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) when needed. The emergency medical services take over at the scene, and we need highly trained individuals capable of treating the patient at this stage because intervention cannot wait until the patient arrives at hospital. The hospital itself is also important and it should be chosen based on its suitability to provide the best treatment for the patient rather than its proximity to the event. These are the elements that, when working together, make up a good, strong emergency care system. By promoting standardisation, we hope that such systems can be put in place in other countries to help more people survive emergency events.”

Dr. Patrick Goldstein“Today’s programme on the Centre Stage will be very interesting and relevant to both emergency physicians and cardiologists.

Among the topics covered in the first session, ‘State of the art management of cardiovascular patients in the emergency department’ (09:00 – 10:30), the roles of the emergency doctor and the cardiologist and how they can work together to ensure the best pathway for the patient in the emergency department will be discussed. The session will also debate chest pain units, asking questions such as: Should they be a part of the acute cardiac care unit, emergency department or both? Who should lead the unit? Which patients should be referred there—all those with chest pain or only those with acute coronary syndromes? There will also be a talk on cardiac troponins and whether ‘rule in, rule out’ is feasible in less than one hour in overcrowded emergency departments, some of which may see over 300 patients a day and have no cardiologist. 

The session ‘Cardiopulmonary resuscitation today’ (11:00 – 12:30) will address issues including whether epinephrine still has a place in CPR, which patients will benefit from therapeutic temperature management and where the best place is for extracorporeal life support—the emergency room or, as we are pioneering in France, the pre-hospital setting.

Recently, our French medical emergency services had to manage terrible terrorist attacks. Our strategies, faced with mass casualties, were deeply modified. In a dedicated session, we will share with the audience this experience, discussing pre-hospital and in-hospital responses in these situations. I hope that many of our colleagues will come to the session ‘Emergency care in response to terrorist attacks’ (12:45 – 13:30).

The final session ‘Emergency medicine: the French touch’ (13:45 – 15:00) will include talks on cardiac arrest during sporting activities and the place of lytic therapy in patients with myocardial infarction.

With all these fascinating subjects and experienced speakers, we are expecting the sessions to be a great success.”

Don’t miss!

Register for CPR workshops at the ESC Plaza:

  • CPR-AED Refresher Workshop  Today, 13:30 – 15:00; Sunday to Tuesday, 08:30 – 10:00 and 14:15 – 15:45
  • Advanced CPR Skills Workshop  Today, 15:30 – 17:00; Sunday to Tuesday, 11:00 – 12:30 and 16:15 – 17:45

Outstanding abstracts at the Poster Area:



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Notes to editor

About the European Society of Cardiology

The European Society of Cardiology brings together healthcare professionals from more than 150 countries, working to advance cardiovascular medicine and help people lead longer, healthier lives.

About ESC Congress 2019

ESC Congress is the world’s largest and most influential cardiovascular event contributing to global awareness of the latest clinical trials and breakthrough discoveries. ESC Congress 2019 takes place 31 August to 4 September at the Paris Expo Porte de Versailles, Paris - France. Explore the scientific programme