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Emergency Surgery in the 21st Century

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20 Mar 2014

With the significant focus currently on A&E services around the UK, Britain’s oldest surgical Royal College is holding their annual President’s Meeting on some of the most crucial subjects surrounding the provision of emergency care in Britain. The Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh; later this month opening its first centre of operations in Birmingham to cater for the 80% of its UK membership who are based in England and Wales; sees today a number of presentations on topics relevant to surgery and patient safety during its prestigious President’s Meeting, which this year is on the theme of “Emergency Surgery in the 21st Century”.

The one-day event boasts top UK and international Faculty including representatives from every major specialty association in Britain, who will be debating some of the most controversial issues and how they affect patient safety – such as improvements in quality of provision and training, and whether there should be a move away from unique specialties into more general care disciplines. In his keynote lecture, renowned surgeon Dr. Ernest Moore from the US will discuss how, at his own acute trauma unit in Denver, there are no ‘specialists’ but all surgeons perform all procedures.

According to the President of the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh, Mr. Ian Ritchie;

"Emergency surgery interests every surgeon because, at some point in our careers, dealing with emergencies has formed an integral part of our work, and our goal is always to continually improve the treatment of patients safely and effectively. At our meeting this year we will be covering a host of subjects relating to emergency surgery, many of which have broader implications across healthcare as a whole, such as the debate around specialisation versus generalisation in surgical training; A&E provision; and pre-Hospital care.

"We will be asking ourselves and our colleagues difficult questions such as, are we simply doing things the way we’ve always done them, or are we doing what is right? What lies behind target pressures and are there better ways of triaging patients? Can – should – we ration emergency care? These are all emotive but timely issues and I look forward to debating these and sharing knowledge with my peers. I’m delighted with the calibre of presentations and the international expertise which will be showcased at this exciting event.”

The conference will also unveil scientific advances and new study findings shortlisted for prizes such as the ‘Surgeons in Training Medal’ for young trainees, and the Lister Legacy award, which considers contributions specific to infection control. These include a novel technique to treat flesh-eating disease (‘necrotizing fasciitis’, of which there are over 500 cases a year in the UK) to avoid amputations; identifying female trauma patients at risk of blood clots through a straightforward check regarding contraceptive use; ensuring nasogastric (feeding) tubes are safely positioned in patients and many other relevant themes.

The Meeting is held in collaboration with every major specialty association in the UK, including the Association of Surgeons of Great Britain and Ireland (ASGBI), British Association of Paediatric Surgeons (BAPS), British Association of Plastic, Reconstructive and Aesthetic Surgeons (BAPRAS), British Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons (BAOMS), British Association of Urological Surgeons (BAUS), British Orthopaedic Association (BOA), ENT-UK, Society of British Neurological Surgeons (SBNS), Society for Cardiothoracic Surgery (SCS), Vascular Society of Great Britain and Ireland (VSGBI), Association of Laparoscopic Surgeons of Great Britain and Ireland (ALSGBI), Association of Coloproctology (ACPGBI), and the Association of Upper Gastrointestinal Surgeons of Great Britain and Ireland (AUGIS).

'Emergency Surgery in the 21st Century' is taking place Friday 21 March at the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh. For information about this conference please visit http://presmeeting.rcsed.ac.uk/

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