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WISER in conjunction with UPMC, the Mediterranean Institute for Transplantation and Advanced Specialized Therapies (ISMETT), and the Renato Fiandaca Simulation Center, held the 1st Mediterranean Transplantation Anesthesiology and Simulation Symposium (MedTASS) at the Grand Hotel Villa Igiea (www.villaigiea.hilton.com ) in Palermo, Italy on April 17-19, 2009. International experts presented up-to-date reviews of current standards of practice in the perioperative anesthetic and intensive care management of liver, heart, and lung transplantation. WISER faculty for these topics included Drs. John Williams, chair of the Anesthesiology department, and Andrew Murray. Dr. Erin Sullivan served as chair for these presentations. Also discussed were issues regarding the organ donor which included strategies to minimize ischemia reprofusion injuries.
A debate on the pros and cons of difficult case presentations in liver transplantation were led by WISER faculty Drs. Raymond Planinsic and Shushma Aggarwal. This allowed for active audience participation with a panel of experts on the subject using an audience response system. Also discussed were issues regarding the pediatric patient for transplantation that emphasized the special concerns of this patient population. These talks were facilitated by Drs. Peter Davis and Ann Thompson.
There were two keynote speakers for the first two days of the symposium. The first was Dr. Bruno Gridelli, Director of ISMETT, who presented on "Transplantation: Past, Present and Future." The keynote speaker for day two was Dr. Paul Phrampus, Director of WISER, who gave a lecture on the "Role of Simulation in Medical Education."
Simulation was used in this conference to teach and demonstrate critical operating room scenarios encountered in liver, heart, and lung transplantation. Attendees participated in interactive simulation sessions dealing with intraoperative decisions in real time crisis management scenarios. Specific sessions were also held to teach difficult airway management, fiberoptic intubation, and central line placement. Several WISER facilitators served as instructors for these workshops. Those included were Drs. Andrew Murray, Joseph Quinlan, Raymond Planinsic, and Shushma Aggarwal. Overall the MedTASS conference was a great success bringing knowledge, skill, and simulation to the forefront of transplantation.