Presidents' Note: 2016 LookBack
Miguel Lozano, ESFH President.
During 2016, the European Society for Hemapheresis (ESFH) has continued working for the improvement of apheresis practice and supporting apheresis related educational activities around Europe.
ESFH participated actively in the XVI joint meeting of World Apheresis Association and the French Society for Hemapheresis held in Paris between 27 and 29 of April 2016. (see beow)Not only had the members of the ESFH Board of Directors delivered some of the lectures but also the Secretary of the Society, Prof. Paul Höcker, received the WAA Cohn-de Laval award as recognition of his long standing dedication and commitment to the field of the apheresis. During the meeting ESFH held the General Assembly.
ESFH also offered scientific patronage to a symposium organized by Prof. Luca Pierelli and Prof. Alberto Bosi of the Università degli Studi di Torino, Italy about the hematopoietic stem cell collection and extracorporeal photochemotherapy.
ESFH is currently working in the organization of the ESFH bi-annual meeting in Valencia, in June 2018. We really hope that the scientific content of the meeting, the fine congress venue and the cultural, natural and built attractions that the city of Valencia offer, will contribute to the success of the meeting.
Last year, the web of the ESFH was changed; updating the content to allow the access from hand held devices and improved aspects related with the security of the software.
The last international joint congress held by the World Apheresis Association and the French Society for Hemapheresis assisted by the European Society for Hemapheresis took place in the historical ambience of the medical faculty in Paris. The scientific program was excellent collocated, addressed scientific affairs as well as daily routine. The bridge was built from the donor to the patient, from the preparative to the therapeutic apheresis. Donor and blood safety are still a must in transfusion medicine. This take home massage was excellent communicated in the donor and pathogen inactivation sessions. On the other hand patients are the targets of all the efforts. Improved rules and standards for cellular therapy collections as well as new insights in therapeutic challenges were satisfactorily discussed in the variety of informative therapeutic sessions.
The Highlight of this meeting was the award ceremony for, the secretary of the European Society. He received the WAA Cohn de Laval award as recognition of his long standing dedication and commitment to the field of the apheresis. The Cohn de Laval Award is the WAA’s most prestigious award, designed to recognize individuals who have made major contributions to the discipline of apheresis. The award, a bronze-cast engrave medal, is presented at the WAA Congress by the WAA President. The awardee is invited to present a special lecture at the Congress.
January 2015, meaning that a new year has started and time for the president to write an annual report.
2014 started sad as you know. We were very still sad because of the pass away of Helmut Borberg in the last month of 2013. Professor Borberg has been very active in the ESFH since many years.
In fact, within the ESFH in 2014 we continued a process which was started in the two years earlier: “the ESFH is of profit for all persons involved in apheresis”. In 2012, in co-operation with Sanquin Blood Supply in the Netherlands (the Dutch national blood transfusion organization), a program to train nurses / operators in the field of apheresis was developed. Since than, this course is build and try-outs showed the value of this course. The complete course was given a number of times by mrs. Marleen Neyrinck, apheresis nurse from AZ Delta in Roeselare, Belgium and myself for apheresis nurses and operators, but also for physicians working in the field of apheresis. On various international meetings on apheresis, also some lessons of this course were given.
For representing apheresis nurses and operators and to co-ordinate courses for nurses within the ESFH, the board suggested admitting a nurse in the board. Prior to that, the bylaws of our society had to be changed. At the general assembly in May 2014 (meeting Florence), the new bylaws were approved, and we were happy that mrs. Ingrid de Beer apheresis nurse and team leader from the University Hospital in Leiden (the Netherlands) agreed to represent apheresis nurses and operators within the ESFH board.
The scientific highlight of our society in 2014 was the joined SIdEM / ESFH meeting in Florence 19-22 May 2014. Many colleagues participated actively on this successful meeting. The next meeting will be organized by the Société Francaise d’ Hémaphérèse (SFH) in co-operation with the World Apheresis Association (WAA) and the ESFH in April 2016. Preparations are in full swing.
Hans Vrielink, January 2015
During 2015, the European Society for Hemapheresis has been working in several activities which are explained following. One of the actions has been to modify the current web of the Society which, although for many years has meet the needs of ESFH, has to be update according the current standards of hand-held devices and security. It is expected that the change will be carried out during 2016.
A course of Train the Trainer in Apheresis for Nurses was held in Vienna (Austria) between the 5th and 6th of February of 2015 organized by the ESFH and coordinated by the Past-President, Dr. Hans Vrielink. The course dealt with the different aspects of the apheresis procedures from basic knowledge such as hematology physiology or different types of calculations to specific characteristics of exchange procedures or pediatric apheresis. The course had 14 attendees coming from around Europe (Austria, Belgium, Great Britain, Italy, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, the Netherlands) and USA.
ESFH decided that since in 2016 will be held the XVI WAA /French Society for Hemapheresis in Paris, the Society will not organize the bi-annual meeting that was supposed to be organized in 2016 to avoid duplicities and competition for resources which are every year more and more limited. However ESFH will participate in the organization of Paris meeting and will award a prize to the best poster presentation. ESFH has just learnt and is proud to announce that Prof. Dr. Paul Hoecker, the secretary of the Society, will receive the WAA Cohn de Laval award as recognition of his long standing dedication and commitment to the field of the apheresis.
For 2018, ESFH has received a bid from Dr. Nelly Carpio of La Fe University Hospital from Valencia, Spain, to organize there the ESFH international meeting jointly with the annual meeting of the Spanish Society of Blood Transfusion and Cellular Therapy. The bid was approved by the Board of Directors of ESFH and now is awaiting the approval of the Board of Directors of the Spanish Society.
Miguel Lozano, MD, PhD
President of ESFH