A Medical Device Daily

The merger of three European anesthesiology organizations into a single group, the European Society of Anesthesiology (ESA), has been completed, according to the society's interim board of directors.

The ESA represents the combination of the European Society of Anesthesiologists, the European Academy of Anesthesiology and the Confederation of European National Societies of Anesthesiologists, marking the first time a single body exists to represent European anesthesiologists, organizers said.

The interim board, an interim council and general assembly will govern the society this year. Later in 2005, a new board and new council will be elected to take office in 2006, replacing the interim bodies.

Current membership of the ESA is in excess of 5,000 individual members and, with a new Society Membership category, the organization has the potential to represent more than 60,000 European anesthesiologists.

Although predominantly a European organization, the ESA membership base includes affiliate members from countries around the world.

The society's executive director and seven staff members are housed at its headquarters office in Brussels.

The organization said its aims are:

  • To promote exchange of information between anaesthesiologists in Europe.
  • To disseminate information in regard to anaesthesiology.
  • To raise the standards of the speciality by fostering and encouraging education, research, scientific progress and exchange of information.
  • To promote improvements in safety and quality of care of patients undergoing anesthesia by facilitating and harmonizing activities of national and international societies of anesthesiologists in Europe.

The society's annual meeting – conducted under the name Euroanaesthesia – and newsletter serve to disseminate information in regard to anesthesiology and promote the exchange of information among European anesthesiologists.

The European Journal of Anesthesiology (EJA), currently the official journal of the ESA, and the society's research grants, fellowships and awards programs serve to foster and encourage education, research and scientific progress, and thereby raise the educational and scientific standards of the specialty of anaesthesiology.

The ESA organizes the examination for the European Diploma in Anesthesiology and Intensive Care that serves, it said, to raise the standards of the speciality.

High-performing trusts to get extra funds

National Health Service (NHS) hospital trusts that have consistently seen 97% or more of patients in and out of their Accident & Emergency (A & E) units in four hours or less each will receive 100,000 in extra capital funding to develop services across their hospital.

UK Health Minister Rosie Winterton said, "Despite continuing high demand for emergency services, 19 out of 20 people [about 95%] are seen, diagnosed, admitted and treated within four hours in A & E. I'm delighted to reward this hard work and improved performance with 100,000 capital to further improve services and facilities."

She added: "Now, trusts that deliver real, significant and sustained improvements are getting financial rewards that match their achievements and help them to carry on improving services and facilities for patients."

Winterton noted that a year earlier, the figure was 90% of patients being seen within the four-hour period, while two years ago, it was just 78%.

"These latest indications," she said, "show that we are now well on the way to an A&E service where every patient can expect to be in and out within four hours."

Gambro completes marine cargo sale

Global medical technology company Gambro (Stockholm, Sweden) and Industri Kapital have finalized the previously announced divestment of MacGregor, their co-owned marine cargo company, to Kone Corp. for about SEK 1.650 billion.

The sale results in a capital gain for Gambro of about SEK 400 million and releases about SEK 595 million in liquid funds including repayment of of MacGregor's debt to Gambro. The capital gain will be recognized during 1Q05.

Gambro acquired MacGregor in 1994 and sold a 60% stake to Industri Kapital in 1998. The sale of MacGregor to Kone was announced Dec. 2.

Gambro is a healthcare company with leading positions in renal care services and products and blood component technology.