ESOA at the World Ophthalmology Congress, Barcelona, June 2018 by TOM EKE

One of the aims of the new European Society of Ophthalmic Anaesthesia (ESOA) is to have a session at one or more Ophthalmology meetings each year. Another aim is, of course, to have a session at one or more Anaesthesiology meetings each year. We started in style in Barcelona, with the World Ophthalmology Congress (WOC). We are pleased to report that our 90 minute ‘Instruction course’ was a great success.
Our session was entitled ‘Anaesthesia for Eye Surgery: Better Techniques to Minimise Risk and Maximise Satisfaction’. Speakers were Tom Eke (ophthalmologist, Norwich, UK), Gregory Destruhaut (anaesthesiologist, Bordeaux, France) and Friedrich Lersch (anaesthesiologist, Bern, Switzerland). We covered local anaesthesia techniques, sedation and general anaesthesia, and finished with a hands-on teaching session where we used model eyes to teach the technique of sub-Tenon’s anaesthesia (STA).
The session was well attended, with a truly world-wide audience: some of the more vocal attendees were from Ukraine, Haiti, Costa Rica, Nigeria, USA, Belgium, Morocco, Senegal, Slovenia, Portugal and Uruguay. Despite the fact that it was the final afternoon of the meeting, with 28 simultaneous sessions scheduled, we had an audience of over 40 (many of the other sessions had fewer than 20 attendees), so we were pleased with the audience size. We had many audience questions afterward, and the STA teaching session attracted so much interest that we continued through the 30-minute tea-break.
Could we have done better? Next time, we will print some leaflets to include ESOA’s aims and ideas, and to promote future sessions. Also, we should have asked delegates to let us have their contact (e-mail) details, to enable us to stay in touch. Lastly, we should have taken more photos for the ROAH website, to include close-ups of the models that we used for STA teaching: all you need is a few old egg-boxes, a plastic bag from the corner shop, some sticky tape, a plastic mask from the toyshop/craft shop/ fancy dress shop, and some cherry tomatoes, or even actual cherries.
Future meetings confirmed where a session on ophthalmic anaesthesia is going to be presented are the Euretina meeting in Vienna (September 20th-23rd 2018), AAA2019-The European Symposium on Ambulatory Anaesthesia and Analgesia in Zürich (March 8th & 9th 2019) and ESRA (European Society of Regional Anaesthesia,Dublin Ireland ( September 12-15 2018) . We were invited to offer a session at ESRA 2019 in Prague. We hope to have a session at the Société Européenne d’Ophthalmologie in Nice, June 2019(13th-16th June) If you have suggestions for other meetings that would benefit from ESOA input, please do let us know- also, we do need volunteers to join the faculty! We had a lot of fun in Barcelona, and we’d like to think that we’ve saved a few eyes (and lives) from anaesthetic complications in the future…