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Report of the 2nd Annual Conference of the Neurocritical Care Society of India (NCSI)

Sriganesh Kamath, MD, DM
Professor, Department of Neuroanaesthesia & Neurocritical Care
National Institute of Mental Health and NeuroSciences (NIMHANS)
Bengaluru, Karnataka, India 

Radhakrishnan Muthuchellapan, MD, DM
Professor & Head, Department of Neuroanaesthesia & Neurocritical Care
National Institute of Mental Health and NeuroSciences (NIMHANS)
Bengaluru, Karnataka, India

Dr. Kamath
Sriganesh Kamath, MD, DM
Dr. Muthuchellapan
Radhakrishnan Muthuchellapan, MD, DM

The 2nd annual conference of the Neurocritical Care Society of India (NCSI 2021) was held virtually on 14 and 15 August 2021. The meeting was organized by the Department of Neuroanaesthesia and Neurocritical Care, National Institute of Mental Health and Neurosciences (NIMHANS), Bengaluru, an Institute of National Importance under the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Government of India.

The theme of the conference was “Guidelines and Bedside Practices- Bridging the Gap.” The 2-day meeting was attended by 293 participants from across the country and also from the UK, USA, Australia, China, Germany, UAE, Brunei, Malaysia, Oman, Saudi Arabia, and Argentina. The faculty and delegates included neurosurgeons, neurologists, intensivists, neuroanesthesiologists, and neurocritical care specialists. The neurocritical care service in India, though predominantly managed by anesthesiologists trained in neuroanesthesia and neurocritical care, are also catered to by clinicians from other specialties, such as neurosurgery, neurology, and critical care medicine. The participation of physicians from multiple disciplines enriched the scientific content and helped provide different perspectives towards patient care in the neurointensive care unit [NICU].

The conference was preceded by the Acute Neuro Care workshop on 13th August 2021 from 13.30 to 19.00 hours and was overbooked (attended by 47 participants). The main conference had 25 scientific sessions of over 24 hours duration in a single hall. It included lectures, pro-con session (flow versus pressure targets for cerebral vasospasm management), video sessions on common procedures performed in the NICU (diaphragm assessment using ultrasonography, deep venous thrombosis assessment, assessment of brain using ultrasonography, Neurally Adjusted Ventilatory Assist, dynamic volume status assessment), panel discussions (traumatic brain injury and neuro infections), and quiz on neurointensive care for trainees.

The lecture topics focussed on varied areas of neurocritical care relevant for clinicians in their day-to-day practice, such as cerebral venous thrombosis, ischemic and hemorrhagic stroke, status epilepticus, nutrition assessment and management, sedation and analgesia assessment and management, neuromuscular weakness, bedside neurological examination, and respiratory care in the NICU. There were sessions on guidelines and practices regarding brain death in USA, UK, and India, pediatric neurointensive care, and bedside neuroradiology for intensivists. The session on recent advances in the NICU included ICU Apps, Tele ICU, and biomarkers in acute brain injury. The NICU case rounds was a unique session and included actual clinical scenario presentations by trainees followed by discussion by mentors and participants on the following topics - approach to fever, airway management, approach to sepsis, approach to hyponatremia, approach to SCI patient with hemodynamic instability, and approach to polytrauma patient with a severe head injury in the NICU.

The keynote address on “Translating clinical research findings into bedside practice” was delivered by Dr. Micheal Diringer, Editor-in-Chief of Neurocritical Care. Dr. Louis Puybasset delivered the Dr. GS Umamaheswara Rao oration wherein he spoke on “Neuro-prognostication using quantitative MRI.”

The inaugural program was held as the last event of the first day. The program began with the welcome address by Dr. Bhadrinarayan V, Organizing Chairperson. This was followed by a rendition of the invocation song and lighting of the lamp to inaugurate the conference formally. Dr. Sriganesh Kamath, the chairperson of the scientific committee, introduced the guests of the evening. The Guests of honor were Editors-in-Chief of the journals – Dr. Micheal Diringer (Neurocritical Care), Dr. Giuseppe Citerio (Intensive Care Medicine), Dr. Atul Kulkarni (Indian Journal of Critical Care Medicine), Dr. Pramod Bithal (Journal of Neuroanaesthesiology and Critical Care), and Dr. Pratima Murthy (Director, NIMHANS), Dr. Shashi Srivastava (President, NCSI) and Dr. Ponnaiah V (Secretary, NCSI). The inaugural program ended with a vote of thanks by Dr. Radhakrishnan M, the organizing secretary.

A total of 36 paper and poster presentations were made during the two-day event. These included original research and case reports. Three prizes were awarded for each category. The prize money for the paper and poster awards was sponsored by Dr. Mark Fitzgerald from Melbourne, Australia.

The last session of the conference was the valedictory function, where winners were presented with the awards. The faculty and the participants used this opportunity to provide their feedback on the conference proceedings. The conference concluded with the organizing team thanking the faculty, delegates, scientific session coordinators, and the technical team for the grand success of the meeting.

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