International Federation for Emergency Medicine Newsletter. July 2019

Message from the President

Professor James Ducharme

On behalf of the International Federation for Emergency Medicine Board and Executive I would like to thank and congratulate Korean Society of Emergency Medicine President Dr Joonpil Cho and Chairman of the Board Dr Eun Seok Hong, and ICEM 2019 Organising Committee Chairman Dr Kang Hyun Lee and Secretary Dr Sang on the success of the 2019 International Conference on Emergency Medicine, held in Seoul South Korea.

This year’s conference was successful far beyond my expectations. With over 2,700 delegates from 72 countries and 1,094 presentations delivered over four days, the extensive scientific program provided an exceptional opportunity to collaborate and share knowledge and experience.

The organisation, venue and social events were outstanding in every aspect, set against the background of an exciting and captivating city. Numerous delegates have provided very positive feedback on both the program and social events, and a personal highlight was the Gala Dinner where the camaraderie engendered by the conference manifested itself in a true air of celebration and collegiality.

Above all, the warmth and generosity of our hosts will be long remembered.  I look forward to seeing you all at the 19th International Conference on Emergency Medicine in Buenos Aires, Argentina, hosted by Sociedad Argentina de Emergencias.

IFEM 2019 Award Recipients

Gautam Bodiwala Lifetime Leadership Achievement Award

Professor Jim Holliman

Congratulations to Professor Jim Holliman who was honored with the Gautam Bodiwala Lifetime Achievement Award. This is IFEM’s highest honor, recognizing an individual who has demonstrated an extraordinary commitment to both IFEM and the specialty of emergency medicine in their home country.

Professor Holliman has devoted his career to the international development of EM, including past service as IFEM’s President. In 1994, he founded the Center for International Medicine at Penn State University’s Hershey Medical Center, which operated a fellowship program to train future international leaders for EM. In 2008 he became a Professor of Military and Emergency Medicine with the Uniformed Services University of Health Sciences, where he was deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan to develop an emergency health care system and to train first responders.

Order of the International Federation for Emergency Medicine

Congratulations to Professor Lisa Moreno-Walton, Professor Anthony Lawler, Associate Professor Sally McCarthy, Professor Arif Alper Cevik, Dr Lau Fei Lung and Dr Clifford Mann for being awarded with the Order of the International Federation for Emergency Medicine (FIFEM).

IFEM Humanitarian Award

The IFEM Humanitarian Award recognizes an individual or organization that has conducted work related to international emergency medicine which has led to major humanitarian or public health benefits or positive effects.

This year there were two recipients of the Humanitarian Award. Congratulations to the National Emergency Medical Center (NEMC) and Professor Elizabeth M Molyneux OBE.

Best Paper Award ICEM2019

Congratulations to Dr Keihan Golshani for winning ICEM2019 Best Paper Award

Topical Ketamine as a Local Anesthetic Agent in Reducing Venipuncture Pain: a Randomized Controlled Trial
Farhad Heydari1,  Sanaz Khalilian1,  Saeed Majidinejad1, Babak Masoumi1,  Keihan Golshani2

Background and Objectives
Optimal pain management is an important issue in all Emergency Departments (EDs) and according to the local resources and personnel experts, there are vast variety of protocols to reduce pain. EMLA containing 2.5% lidocaine and 2.5% perlocaine is a common topical cream that widely use as a local anesthetic agent. Many studies supported the safety and efficacy of EMLA in relieving pain from minor procedures such as venipuncture or dermatological ones such as micro abrasion. As to best of our knowledge, there is not any clinical trial yet to evaluate the local cutaneous effects of ketamine to relief pain in EDs. Therefore, this study designed to evaluate the local cutaneous effects of ketamine on acute pain reduction and to compare its topical anesthetic effects with EMLA.

Reflections on emergency medical care after one year as President of IFEM

Professor James Ducharme

One can get discouraged when looking at how emergency medicine is (or is not) progressing around the world. From a systems point of view, crowding is an ever worsening problem in an increasing number of countries. The rise in road traffic fatalities is not being adequately addressed in entire continents. Looking at it from a ‘people’ perspective instead of a systems one, we are witnessing medical tourism rapidly increasing, as ever larger numbers of physicians spend 2 or 3 weeks in another country thinking their brief stay will somehow advance care. Despite the evidence to the contrary, far too many well intentioned people continue to believe that they ‘know’ what a country or a hospital needs, and that they can show them the ‘right’ way if somehow they would just listen.

Yet these areas of discouragement should not sway us from our path, based just on what has been witnessed this year alone. On May 27, 2019 the WHO adopted a key resolution on trauma and emergency care. “”No one should die for the lack of access to emergency care, an essential part of universal health coverage, said WHO Director-General Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus. „We have simple, affordable and proven interventions that save lives. All people around the world should have access to the timely, life-saving care they deserve.””

In this past year, the WHO has rolled out its Basic Emergency Care program, supported by IFEM, establishing minimal standards of emergency care. IFEM has produced position papers on Pediatric EM care, Quality and Safety standards, as well as Ethics on International Research. The IFEM/WHO task force had been set up, with representatives from all 6 United Nations regions, ensuring collaboration and continuing progress.

The ICEM2019 Marketplace: A Novel Approach to Teaching in Geriatric Emergency Medicine

During the International Conference on Emergency Medicine (ICEM 2019), The Geriatric Emergency Medicine Special Interest Group used a novel approach to introducing colleagues to key concepts in the sub-specialty – the Geriatric Emergency Medicine Marketplace.

What is the marketplace?
The Marketplace is a concept first developed by the IFEM Paediatric Emergency Medicine Special Interest Group as a means of allowing conference delegates hands-on interactions with topic experts in their specialty.

The Marketplace consists of a small number of ‘stalls’, in which subject matter experts present content on a well defined area of importance to delegates within the specialty. For example , our recent marketplace contained stalls on triage in older people, femoral nerve block, risk stratification of older people and the use of simulation in GEM, among others.

Delegates are invited to wander through the marketplace and choose which stalls to visit. They then spend around 10 minutes with the stallholder learning about the topic, asking questions and getting a clearer understanding of the topic. The setting is informal and the groups are small (ranging from 2 to about 6 people at a time). This allows for maximum access to the stall holders, as well as a very personalised approach to learning.

How was the marketplace organised?
Despite its informal layout and apparently relaxed approach to learning, the marketplace took almost a year of planning to ensure smooth and successful delivery at the conference. The main steps in organisation included:

Dr Siti Nasrina, Emergency Medicine Physician in Sabah Malaysia shares a local emergency medicine achievement.

Sharing success stories, learnings, knowledge and experience is critical in advancing international emergency medical care. Do you have a local emergency medicine achievement you would like to share with emergency medicine physicians across the world? Email your story to and we will include it in the next edition of our newsletter. 

Nominations for the 2020 IFEM Awards

At each International Conference on Emergency Medicine, IFEM recognizes the contributions of our colleagues in international emergency medical care. We are seeking nominations for the following IFEM Awards:

• Gautam Bodiwala Lifetime Leadership Achievement Award
• IFEM Humanitarian Award
• Order of the International Federation for Emergency Medicine (FIFEM)

These awards will be presented at the ICEM Conference in Buenos Aires in June 2020.

Further information including criteria and nomination forms

Nominations close 1 August 2019