Inspire, breathe, sleep

The joint congress of the South African Thoracic Society (SATS) and the South African Society of Sleep Medicine (SASSM) takes place from 18 – 21 August at the Indaba Hotel and Conference Centre, Johannesburg. Delegates are encouraged to register and take advantage of the early bird registration fee as the deadline is 1 May.

The theme of this year’s congress is ‘Inspire, Breathe, Sleep’. Parallel sessions each day will focus on adult pulmonology, paediatric pulmonology, thoracic surgery and sleep medicine, respectively.

The plenary sessions will spotlight research of interest within each of these four ‘congress tracks’. This year’s congress has been planned to allow more topics to be covered, with the actual track sessions having been shortened to 15 minutes each.

Eminent international guest faculty (including Dr Adnan Custovic from the UK, Dr Karin Klooster from the Netherlands and Prof Marcelo Martinez-Ferro from Argentina) will join local key opinion leaders to cover a range of topical interests related to the latest research in each of the tracks.

A prospective highlight is Prof Walter McNicholas from Ireland’s plenary talk ‘Sleep in chronic pulmonary disease (COPD):  A forgotten dimension’.  Recognised as a leading international authority in translational research on the mechanisms and consequences of sleep-related breathing disorders, particularly sleep apnoea, his research interests include the pathophysiology, treatment and outcomes of sleep apnoea syndrome, the cardiovascular and metabolic consequences of the disorder, basic cell and molecular mechanisms and consequences of intermittent hypoxia, in addition to sleep disturbances in COPD and other chronic respiratory disorders.

Asthma and COPD play a large part in adult respiratory medicine. We have endeavoured this year to incorporate new developments in interstitial lung disease, occupational disease and non-pharmacological interventions in COPD. New research on pneumonia and chronic lung infections will also be highlighted.

“The paediatric pulmonology component will cover a wide spectrum of congenital and infectious lung disease as well as interventional procedures in children. This will complement the asthma and allergy component,” said Dr Alan Peter, SATS chair.

“Extensive research in recent years has identified the under-diagnosis and mismanagement of many chronic respiratory conditions, with or without sleep-disordered breathing, behavioural and cognitive disorders.

The increased financial burden and poor therapeutic outcomes accelerate co-morbidities, with escalating cardiovascular and respiratory risk contributing to obesity and further cardiometabolic and neurodegenerative disease. The meeting offers an integrated multidisciplinary and innovative approach to urgently address the needs and management of these underlying sleep and breathing disorders to prevent the high-risk cardiovascular, respiratory and neuropsychiatric complications,” said Dr Jeffrey King, SASSM chair.

Workshops with interactive hands-on application will be held on Thursday 18 August in advance of the main congress programme and will cover the latest developments in chest ultrasonography, radiology for the pulmonologist, lung function evaluation – beyond spirometry and blood gases, diagnostic approaches to sleep-disordered breathing and ambulatory monitoring thereof.

These workshops will be held on-site at the congress venue. The thoracic surgery workshop, which will take place off-site at Onderstepoort Veterinary Hospital, will focus on advanced operative techniques under the guidance of international experts.

An ethics plenary session will cover, among other topics, the ethics of sleep medicine and patient-centric asthma care. International speaker, Dr Martinez-Ferro will deliver the Ben le Roux lecture, entitled ‘Innovation in the middle of adversity’. The results of current research will also form an integral part of the programme.

The Organising Committee invites the submission of abstracts in the categories adult pulmonology, paediatric pulmonology, cardiothoracic surgery and sleep.  The deadline for the submission of abstracts is 29 April.

“In selecting a congress venue location close to the city, but one that offers a relaxed country-type atmosphere, we hope to make this congress affordable, convenient and comfortable for many more of our colleagues and look forward to much interactive dialogue.”

“Inspire, Breathe, Sleep 2016 unites healthcare professionals and paramedical specialists, providing a comprehensive multi-disciplinary approach in their quest for the provision of ultimate patient cardiac protection and improvement of innovative cardiorespiratory care,” concluded Drs Peter and King.

For more information and to register for this event, please contact the organisers, Europa Organisation Africa. DON’T DELAY – REGISTER NOW. The closing date is 1 May.

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