A message from the chairman

A message from the chairman

My name is Stefan Schraag. Since 2008 I have been chairing the Board of EuroSIVA, a handpicked selection of experts in the field of clinical pharmacology, research and monitoring. Together, we have achieved to establish a team of expertise in many areas of intravenous anaesthesia and target-controlled infusion (TCI). Over the years, this team has devoted time and energy in building and delivering top-class teaching and education through scientific conferences, interactive workshops, clever advisory tools and a variety of publications.

All of us have seen people, ideas and concepts coming and going. Maybe the longevity of  engaging in TIVA and TCI over now 25 years, has given EuroSIVA the expertise and reputation that remains core to what we do but also retained our healthy scepticism to judge upcoming trends and innovations.

However, all of us grow older and some have already jumped over the fence of retirement. Nonetheless, all members of the Board have retained their expertise and are engaging in a variety of scientific and commercial activities related to TIVA that you might be interested in.

Over the coming weeks we will let you know what each of us are doing and publish a personal profile of each Board member in this blog. Maybe you find something that interests you and want to follow up with us.

Let’s start with me.

I am a cardio-thoracic Consultant Anaesthetist in a large tertiary University-affiliated hospital in the West of Scotland. Also approaching the retirement age, I have recently dropped my cardiac and critical care on-call commitment after so many years which now feels like a new lease of life. I have also reduced my clinical hours slightly to lead in the design and roll-out of a new and comprehensive Anaesthesia Information Management System (AIMS) for our hospital, a project that started two years ago and is just over the finish line now. The highlight was that we could successfully connect all of out TCI pump stacks to the main system, a feature that we were long waiting for. The downside is, however, that it is never easy and straighforward to work with a big medical device cooperation.

I was always interested in data science. Over the last three years I had the opportunity to mentor a PhD student from the local University of Strathclyde’s Computer and Information Department. Together we set up a data science hub and developed risk analysis tools and prediction models for cardiac surgery based on modern machine learning algorithms. The results clearly show that traditional risk scores, like the Euroscore, are no longer fit for purpose. Our data driven models could for example predict postoperative complications, such as delirium or acute kidney injury with high predictive accuracy.

Another project that keeps me busy is the development of a patient-controlled sedation system for patients undergoing procedures. This system is based on a propofol TCI system and has been first developed by fellow Board members Gavin Kenny and Nick Sutcliffe here in Glasgow. The initial clinical studies that were based on a prototype device and date back to the early 2000’s, are now supplemented by studies in larger cohorts of patients with a commercial partner in China and include a feedback function to increase safety. It is expected that the results of these studies, that have just finished, will further enhance the algorithm of the commercial product that is expected to be launched next year.

So this should be enough for now, thank you for your interest in EuroSIVA.