Samuel Ern Hung Tsan, MAnaes, FCAI
EXCO member, MSNACC
Peter Tan, MMed
The field of neuroanesthesiology and neurocritical care has been expanding rapidly globally. Similarly, over the past 10 years, more and more anesthesiologists have pursued neuroanesthesia, and neurocritical care subspecialty training in Malaysia often underwent their fellowship in renowned international centers. In the early days, these anesthesiologists were gathered in the Special Interest Group (SIG) in Neuroanaesthesiology under the auspices of the College of Anaesthesiologists (CoA), Academy of Medicine of Malaysia. However, with increasing numbers of anesthesiologists who have a special interest in perioperative neurosciences from the public, private and university hospitals, it was recognized that there was a need for a society to be formed.
The Malaysian Society of Neuroanaesthesiology and Neurocritical Care (MSNACC) was officially formed on 28 May 2021 as a non-profit professional body closely affiliated with the CoA. This was achieved despite the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, indicative of the MSNACC’s ability to overcome adversities for the advancement of these fields. Though it is still small in numbers at present, MSNACC aims to facilitate educational activities and the development of guidelines on neuroanesthesiology and neurocritical care. It also plans to organize educational programs, formal fellowship attachments, workshops, international and national conferences, all for the betterment of perioperative neurosciences in Malaysia.
The Neuroanaesthesia Symposium (NAS) has been a regular scientific meeting since 2010. Organized biennially by the SIG in collaboration with different hospitals throughout Malaysia, NAS has gained momentum among anesthesiologists in Malaysia and the Asia-Pacific region. With no end to the pandemic in sight, the MSNACC decided to organize the first virtual NAS in 2021. It took place during 3-4 July, attended by 422 local and international delegates. With a faculty lineup comprising international and local experts, the NAS 2021 was a resounding success.
During this pandemic, the MSNACC has also taken the initiative to continue educational activities by launching the Webinars in Neuroanaesthesiology (WiN) 2021 series. The WiN 2021 is a series of symposia with the following themes: Neurovascular Anaesthesia (24 April), Paediatric Neuroanaesthesia (19 June), and Perioperative Neuroprotection (23 October). The speakers for these webinars included local and international experts from the United Kingdom and Asia Pacific region. The WiN 2021 was an overwhelming success, receiving excellent participation from anesthesiologists throughout Malaysia.
The MSNACC’s next big project is the inaugural virtual Neurocritical Care Conference (NCC) 2022 on July 1-3 with the theme “Together We Move Forward”. Acknowledging the increasing need to care for critically ill patients with neurological and neurosurgical conditions, the NCC 2022 will be the first conference in Malaysia and possibly, in the Southeast Asian region focusing on the neurocritical care of both adult and pediatric populations. It promises an exciting lineup of renowned international and local speakers. Registration is free at https://neuro-criticalcare.org/.
The future for MSNACC is promising, with multiple projects in the pipeline. The WiN 2022 is continuing this year, including more and more international experts. The upcoming NAS 2023 is slated to take place from 7-9 July in the beautiful city of Kuching in the heart of Borneo. Looking further ahead, the MSNACC will be the host for the Asian Society of Neuroanaesthesia and Critical Care (ASNACC) Congress 2027, also to occur in Kuching, which is a UNESCO Creative City of Gastronomy. The NAS 2023 and ASNACC Congress 2027 are physical meetings, warmly inviting all readers to save the dates.
The MSNACC, though in its infancy, has achieved much and aims to play a larger role in the field of perioperative neurosciences both nationally and internationally. This will be done by having more collaborations with international societies like the ASNACC, Society of Neuroscience in Anesthesiology and Critical Care (SNACC), Neurocritical Care Society (NCS), and the likes. The MSNACC aspires to be the torchbearer for the field of perioperative neurosciences in Malaysia and will continue to light the way forward in this discipline.