The First International Conference on Pediatric Mechanical Circulatory Support Systems and Pediatric Cardiopulmonary Perfusion was held at the Hotel Hershey, Hershey, Pennsylvania, on May 19–22, 2005. Over 300 participants from 20 different countries including Argentina, Brazil, Belgium, Canada, Chile, China, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Italy, Kuwait, Japan, the Netherlands, Poland, South Korea, Taiwan, Turkey, the United Kingdom, and the United States were in attendance.
The primary goal of this meeting was to bring together internationally known clinicians, basic scientists, and engineers involved in research on pediatric mechanical circulatory support systems and pediatric cardiopulmonary bypass procedures to precisely define the problems with current techniques and devices and to suggest short-term and long-term solutions. This conference had three phases.
Investigators gave summaries of current devices and techniques used during pediatric mechanical circulatory support and cardiopulmonary perfusion around the globe. Limitations and complications associated with current systems were described in detail. The results of direct comparisons of many different devices and techniques were discussed.
Newly developed devices at clinical and preclinical stage were described in detail. There were presentations that compared alternate and conventional treatments and devices used during acute or long-term cardiac support.
This phase was the establishment of a permanent record of all presentations. This issue of the ASAIO Journal is dedicated to our conference. All manuscripts were peer-reviewed and published as a block in the ASAIO Journal. In addition, all of the abstracts from our keynote and invited speakers, as well as the abstracts from the slide and poster presenters, were placed on the conference web page (http://www.hmc.psu.edu/ce/pediatrics). This allows anyone from anywhere around the globe to easily access this information.
We received endorsements from prominent societies and significant financial support from numerous institutions. The following societies have endorsed this international event: the American Society for Artificial Internal Organs, the Asian Pacific Society for Circulatory Support, the Biomedical Engineering Society, the European Society for Artificial Organs, the International Federation for Artificial Organs, the International Society for Rotary Blood Pumps, the Japanese Society for Artificial Organs, the Korean Society for Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery, and the Society of Turkish Cardiovascular Surgery.
Significant financial support was received from Penn State Children’s Hospital, Penn State College of Medicine, and the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute. This support played a key role in allowing us to organize this conference. The Whitaker Foundation also provided support to allow over 20 biomedical engineers and students to attend this event. The following manufacturers made educational grants to our conference: Arrow International, Berlin Heart AG, DataScope Corp., Maquet, Inc., MEDOS Medizintechnik AG, MicroMed Technology, Inc., Somanetics Corporation, St. Jude Medical, and Thoratec Corporation.
In addition, without the help of the Penn State University, Department of Continuing Medical Education, this event would not have been possible. We appreciate the assistance we received from Ms. Bonnie Bixler, Ms. Tracy Allgier-Baker, and others from Ms. Bixler’s staff.
We are humbled with the response and compliments we received during the past year while we were organizing this unique event. Without the participation of dozens of leading invited and keynote lecturers, this conference would not have created such a tremendous amount of interest. This conference will be held annually as long as there is a need. We have already scheduled the second conference in Istanbul, Turkey, May 17–20, 2006, and the third conference in Hawaii, May 16–19, 2007.
We hope that this conference will be a positive force for future collaborations among physicians, scientists, and engineers in this important but neglected field. If the course of just one child is improved as a result of this event, we would consider our goal to have been reached.
Finally, we sincerely thank Dr. Jay Zwischenberger, Editor of the ASAIO Journal, and Betty L. Littleton, Managing Editor, for not only dedicating one issue of the journal to our manuscripts, but also publishing them in a record time of 3 months.
This article was extracted from Dr. Ündar’s earlier publication in the Proceedings of the First International Conference on Pediatric Mechanical Circulatory Support Systems and Pediatric Cardiopulmonary Perfusion, Volume 1, May 2005.