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Focus on Poland

October 2020

ACVC National Representatives

Agnieszka Tycinska.jpgProf. Agnieska Tycinska
Medical University of Bialystok, Poland,
President of the AICC of the Polish Cardiac Society




Gierlotka-Marek-2018.jpgProf. Marek Gierlotka

University Hospital in Opole, Poland,
Past-President of the AICC of the Polish Cardiac Society


ACVC Young National Representative

Marta Zaleska Kociecka.jpeg Dr. Marta Zaleska-Kociecka

National Institute of Cardiology in Warsaw, Poland



What does it mean to be an ACVC National Representative (NR)?

Professor Janina Stepinska was the first one and created in the 80’ structured and modern concept of intensive cardiac therapy in Poland. She was also the founder of the Working Group of Intensive Cardiac Care and the Head of the first one ICCU in Poland. Then, in 2019 Marek Gierlotka was the one who transformed the WG into the Association of Intensive Cardiac Care of the Polish Cardiac Society (AICC).

I am trying to continue this work. I understand the strength of the Association and the importance and power of its nearly 600 members.

Being an ACVC NR and at the same time an ACVC Board Member, I have a great opportunity to encourage the ACVC activities in Poland. Thus, I would divide my activities into two parts:

  • Outside AICC

Being one of the first persons in the country who is aware about the scheduled, freshest ACVC activities, I spread them out in my country.

I encourage to become ACVC Member, inform about the possibilities of obtaining grants, encourage to send abstracts and participate in registries, ACVC School, and send the best papers to the EHJ-ACVC.

I am looking for leaders, activists, people willing to cooperate, who support me locally. Especially I try to motivate young people, which is helped by YNR-Marta Zaleska-Kociecka.
I understand this work as a kind of bridging between ACVC and AICC of the PCS.

  • Inside AICC

I organise conferences, sessions, workshops related to the intensive cardiac care issues. The AICC conference is endorsed by the ACVC. I support the cooperation between intensive cardiologists and anaesthesiologists/general intensivists, while organising trainings by intensive cardiologists for anaesthesiologists and vice versa. I understand such cooperation as the pursuit of these two working groups.

What can ACVC bring to your national working group and vice-versa?

The cooperation between the ACVC and the AICC covers many aspects and is very important for both sides. From the AICC point of view, it opens up many possibilities. First of all, it allows access to the wide ACVC educational offer. Secondly, it allows for establishing wide contacts forboth professional and scientific matters. Joint preparation of webinars and other educational products makes it possible to take into account the specificity of a given country. Thanks to the cooperation, we can implement our own ideas not only in Poland but also in other ESC member countries. An important element is also scientific cooperation - the possibility of carrying out joint research projects, especially for young members of our Association.

Currently, the third person from Poland is a member of the ACVC Board, Agnieszka Tycinska, who is also the President of the AICC. Her area of ​​interest and activity is education. Marek Gierlotka is the co-chairman of the Research and Science Section. Both of them are continuing the work started a few years ago by Professor Janina Stępinska, the first Polish member of the ACVC Board.

What does an ICCU look like in your country?

The vivid environment of an ICCU gives an opportunity to combine both clinical knowledge and practical skills attracts many young doctors.  Future cardiologist are interested in fellowships, courses and conferences related to the cardiac intensive care. In fact, we observe growing interest in lectures devoted to acute cardiac care during the International Congress of the Polish Cardiac Society.

The ICCU attraction is also due to the complexity of clinical scenarios that requires integrated multidisciplinary care with coordinated activities of physicians and consultants of many specialities, nurses and physiotherapists. Advanced technologies also create new cardiac populations such as patients requiring mechanical circulatory support.  This extends need for even broaden cooperation to perfusionists and VAD (ventricular assist device) nurses, etc. Such environment gives opportunity to work in great teams, but what is of the utmost importance, it urges to create well-organised, multidisciplinary units with experience and expertise to be shared between cardiologists, cardiac surgeons, anaesthesiologists, respiratory physicians, nephrologists, neurologists and many others.

Describe the most challenging situation in your country

The greatest challenge of the ICCU is that it requires major change of paradigm. For many years ICU was primarily managed by anaesthesiologists. Nowadays, along with global trends, it starts to become a truly interdisciplinary occupation. Regulations, education and career paths as well as organisation of hospitals need to adjust. This process requires time. Experience of colleagues from ACVC is a great asset to help diffuse this change.

What would you like to change or harmonise?

The COVID-19 era changed the way we collaborate, but it still continues. We pay special attention to the interdisciplinary nature of the intensive cardiac care. We dream of a network of the ACVC School brand, which would be recognisable throughout Europe and beyond. We would like to create registers and write papers that would change the guidelines.

There are so many young people willing to cooperate. And all of this still stays at our hands, although with digital solutions.

We believe that a better tomorrow is still ahead of us.