Every year, in late fall, the reddish gold colour of October leaves brings a new experience: the symposium held in Vama. In the panorama of Romanian respiratory medicine, it’s like listening to Bob Dylan after a classical music concert. Equally interesting, but different. Organised by the always on-the-run Tudor Toma (MD), coming from the Lewisham Hospital in London, the 8th Edition of the Romanian - English Symposium (October 27-29, 2016) had the theme “Vital protocols for breathing disorders”.
As usual, the symposium brought together high-quality scientific presentations held by Romanian and foreign speakers, in a relaxed atmosphere, resulted from a limited number of participants and an intimate location, respectively Bucovina Lodge’s mansard.
Arriving from New York, Professor Dan Sterman held a lecture on the “New approaches to management of malignant pleural effusions”. In addition to the classic treatment methods, he also talked about new types of approach to malignant pleurisies, such as the subcutaneous drainage catheter. This presentation was followed by a discussion between the professor and the Romanian doctors, discussion which shone a light on specific points of the medical activity in the US and Romania, such as ways to approach lung cancer, the training curriculum through residency in pneumology, the motivation to choose the field of pneumology and other related topics.
From London, Tuck-Kay Loke (MD) held our attention with a presentation that followed the assessment of pulmonary thromboembolism, an issue that raised a heated discussion and questions from the audience. From Preston, Mohammed Munavvar (MD) presented, in an interactive and funny manner, 3 illustrated cases of haemoptysis from his experience, of rare causes (e.g., Bechet’s disease, pulmonary sequestration), following diagnosis and treatment steps.
Saturday morning we attended a very interesting session of clinical cases, moderated by Professor Traian Mihăescu (Iași), Ionela Belaconi (MD; Bucharest), Tudor Toma (MD) and Tuck-Kay Loke (MD; London). In this session, the moderators discussed the particularities of a case of pulmonary nodule associated with pulmonary thromboembolism, bilateral pneumothorax, and errors in medical practice. These cases raised intense discussions, involving all the foreign speakers.
In addition to the presentations, the participants had the opportunity to attend workshops. During the workshops on non-invasive ventilation, the discussions focused on the NIV in emergency medicine (Anca Macri, Tudor Toma, Jocelyn Hall), the practice of NIV (Sânziana Lovin, MD, Iași), NIV and blood gases (Jocelyn Hall, London). At the pleural ultrasound workshop, prof. Gabriela Jimborean (MD; Târgu Mureș), Andrew Hearn, Jocelyn Hall and Tudor Toma (London) discussed the use of pleural ultrasound with direct application in the pleural effusion drainage. The latter subject was also presented at the workshop held by Andrew Hearn (London), while lecturer Daniela Boisteanu (MD; Iași) gave us an insight into sleep apnea.
On the second day of the meeting, Dan Timofte (MD) gave a presentation on “Bariatric surgery and ventilation of the obese patient”, and Tudor Toma (MD) brought to our attention a new topic for Romania: “What is Clinical Audit and how can you use it?”. Let’s not forget the workshops on “Exacerbations in COPD” (Tudor Toma) and “LAMA-LABA as a backbone of COPD treatment” (lecturer: Daniela Boișteanu, MD).
As always, our host, the Bucovina Lodge, rose to the occasion by offering us not only a superb location, but also a gastronomic feast with Bucovina-inspired dishes. Weather was on our side, allowing us to admire the wonderful colours of October. A superb late fall, a friendly meeting of a high scientific quality, a warm gathering with colleagues, an encounter with the language of Shakespeare in the land of Ion Creangă... while slipping into Bucovina’s atmosphere of atemporal tranquility!