‘New Steps in Critical Care’ in Tbilisi, Georgia


Critical care medicine under examination in Georgia

Twelve international participants have joined members of the Georgian Academy of Medical Sciences (GAMS) and other local experts for the First International Workshop and Ninth International Symposium on “New steps in Critical Care Medicine” being held in Tbilisi, Georgia, 20-22 September 2017.

The workshop follows on from the visit of IAP Coordinator, Peter McGrath, to Tbilisi last year www.iamp-online.org/content/critical-care-and-catastrophe-medicine, when an agreement for more involvement of the international medical community in the regular Georgian event was reached. The 12 international experts were nominated by member academies of IAP for Health.

Speaking at the opening session, Zurab Kheladze of GAMS and the Georgian Critical Care Medicine Institute, gave an overview of how death is perceived in different cultures, focusing on Georgian and Asian considerations, and outlined some of the research being carried out at the Georgian Critical Care Medicine Institute.

While Kheladze is the host-country co-chair of the steering committee for the event, while Maria Cristina Orlandi of Argentina is the other co-chair.

In her presentation, Orlandi discussed the results of a survey of some 257 hospitals in Latin America regarding their critical care facilities.

In general, intensive care units (ICUs) were present in most areas. The ICUs are mainly medical and surgical with 8 to 20 beds, while 60% of hospitals have intermediate care units with less than 8 beds.

The doctor patient ratio, in the range of 1:4 to 1:7, was also considered to be mostly adequate.

“However, the nurse to patient ration of 1:8 is inadequate, despite the demonstrated relationship between the number of nurses and patient outcomes,” said Orlandi. “This needs addressing, and we need to sensitise governments and the public to the need for more nurses.”

“In our hospital, we have two nurses per critical care patient,” confirmed Li Gang, a participant from China.

From the interventions of other participants, including Mpoki Ulisubisya from Tanzania, it is clear that critical care medicine capacity is present even in some of the world’s poorest countries, but is often limited to a few beds in a central hospital. In many sub-Saharan African countries, for example, patients beyond the capital city, perhaps in distant rural areas, face great difficulties being transferred to a suitable hospital that may be many hours’ drive away on poor roads.

One of the aims of the workshop is to determine if there is interest from the participating academies to take critical care medicine forward as an ongoing topic for IAP for Health to continue its engagement.

The event in Tbilisi is being hosted by the Georgian Academy of Medical Science, the Georgian Association of Critical Care and Catastrophe Medicine, and the Georgian Critical Care Medicine Institute. It is being supported financially by the Government of Georgia.