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Editorial

Outcomes of the First International Conference on Pediatric Mechanical Circulatory Support Systems and Pediatric Cardiopulmonary Perfusion

Ündar, Akif PhD

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doi: 10.1097/01.mat.0000201799.41378.78
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The September–October 2005 issue of the ASAIO Journal was dedicated to the First International Conference on Pediatric Mechanical Circulatory Support Systems and Pediatric Cardiopulmonary Perfusion.1 To the best of the author’s knowledge, this is the only issue of the ASAIO Journal solely dedicated to pediatric cardiac surgery and pediatric circulatory support devices during the past 50 years. This issue and the First Conference have set the precedent for future September–October issues to be so dedicated. Additionally, the Journal now features a Pediatric Circulatory Support and Perfusion section for manuscripts submitted independently of the conferences. The objectives of this editorial are: 1) to review the outcomes of the First Conference; and 2) to share the recent developments about the Second Conference.

Evaluations of the First Conference

Participants at the First Conference in Hershey were requested to evaluate all scientific and social programs comprising the 3-day conference. Questions covered not only educational objectives of the event, but also conference administration, facilities, and personal expectations. In addition, Invited and Key Note Lecturers were evaluated in terms of teaching effectiveness, knowledge of the subject, quality of handouts and teaching strategies, and commercial bias. The ratings in all categories were remarkably high. Participants clearly stated that they learned something new that will be used in the coming year, and they will share new information with others in their hospitals or institutions. Professor Long Cun from Fu Wai Hospital in Beijing, China, which is the largest heart center in the world with an impressive 7,000 open-heart cases (including over 1,500 pediatric cardiopulmonary bypass cases) annually, recently told me that he established a new extracorporeal membrane oxygenation program in his hospital after participating and learning significant new information from the invited speakers of the First Conference. This communication from Prof. Long Cun gives credence to the most important objective of the First Conference—to learn from each other.

Cost of the First Conference

The direct cost of the first event was $172,000. Approximately $63,500 (50% of this amount was paid directly from my personal research seed funds) of the total cost was funded by the Penn State Children’s Hospital and Penn State College of Medicine. Particularly, Dr. Craig Hillemeier, chair of the Department of Pediatrics, and medical director of the Penn State Children’s Hospital, allocated the Penn State funds for this conference. The organizing committee very much appreciates Dr. Hillemeier’s contributions for this event.

Other Acknowledgments

In our previous Invited Editorial regarding the First Conference, several individuals from the Penn State College of Medicine were inadvertently not included in the acknowledgments. Tracy Allgier-Baker, director of continuing education, Bonnie J. Bixler, director of special projects and physicians programs, Danielle Dees, Lori Fitterling, and Beth Brandt, all from the Department of Continuing Medical Education, helped us tremendously in organizing and managing the First Conference. John Reibson, from the Division of Artificial Organs of the Department of Surgery, and Dr. Ugur Salli, from the Department of Pharmacology, were responsible for prereviewing all presentations and helping speakers with their technical questions. Julie Eisenhauer and Joyce Greiner from the Department of Pediatrics, and Eric Yeager from The Division of Artificial Organs, assisted me with administrative issues of the conference. I sincerely apologize for not mentioning these individuals’ contributions in the previous Invited Editorial.

The September–October 2005 Issue of the ASAIO Journal

All manuscripts submitted during the First International Conference were subjected to the usual peer-review process for publication acceptance in the ASAIO Journal.1–42 We received a few late manuscripts, which appear in the November–December 2005 and January–February 2006 issues of the Journal.43–45 The September–October 2005 issue includes two invited editorials,1,2 a memoriam to Helmet Reul,3 a special article on history and new directions for extracorporeal life support,4 a review article regarding pediatric cardiopulmonary bypass devices,14 an article on pediatric circulatory support from the perspective of the US Food and Drug Administration,16 clinical and engineering-related articles,5–33 articles related to animal models,34,35 how-to-do articles,36,37 short reports,38,39 and case reports.40–42 These articles are representative reports on the interesting and important research in pediatric circulatory support being conducted around the world.

Second International Conference

The organizing committee originally planned to hold the Second International Conference in Istanbul, Turkey, May 18 through 20, 2006. During the past year, I have personally visited over 20 hotels in Istanbul to choose the right one for the Second Conference. After reviewing each proposal, we finally selected the best hotel for our needs. At the contract signing stage, The Penn State University’s Financial Risk Officer required additional security for the hotel. The officer contacted private security firms in this regard. The estimates we received for the additional security were extremely high and open-ended. Therefore, we had no choice but to come back to North America for the Second Conference, which will be held at the Holiday Inn on King in Toronto, Canada, May 18 through 20, 2006. We were fortunate to find this particular Toronto hotel on such a short notice.

In addition to Drs. Waldhausen and Pierce, Aydin Aytac, MD, from Istanbul, Turkey, and William Williams, MD, from Toronto will serve as Honorary Chairs of the Second Conference. Five leading pediatric heart surgeons, Sabine Daebritz, MD, Germany; Brain Duncan, MD, United States; Martin Elliott, MD, United Kingdom; Roland Hetzer, MD, Germany; and Ross M. Ungerleider, MD, United States; will serve as Scientific Co-Chairs along with John L. Myers, MD, United States; Gerson Rosenberg, PhD, United States; and the author.

Based on the information we received from the participants of the First Conference, we have included several how-to-do sections (including extracorporeal membrane oxygenation and ventricular assist device circuits) in the scientific program of the Second Conference. We have again invited all leading investigators on pediatric circulatory support systems to the Second Conference. Nearly 70% of the slide presentations will be from Invited Lecturers and Key Note Speakers. By the time this editorial is in print, the Preliminary Scientific Program can be viewed on our conference Web site (www.hmc.psu.edu/ce/pediatrics). All other conference-related information, such as submitting abstracts, conference and hotel registration, is also on the Web site. As indicated above, all acceptable manuscripts will be published in the September–October 2006 issue of the ASAIO Journal.

Acknowledgments

I am humbled to be invited to serve as Pediatrics Section Editor of the ASAIO Journal. I greatly thank Dr. Zwischenberger for his trust. I will do my best to improve the quality of the manuscripts related to the Pediatrics section.

References

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3. Ündar A: In memory of Professor Dr. Helmut Reul. ASAIO J 51: xi, 2005.
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Copyright © 2006 by the American Society for Artificial Internal Organs