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ERC Congress RESUS23 in Barcelona: Elevating Simulation in Cardio-Pulmonary Resuscitation

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A dive into the ERC Congress RESUS23 that was recently held in Barcelona. High-Fidelity Simulation, Virtual Reality, and innovative education approaches were explored to enhance Cardiac Arrest training. National resuscitation council teams from different countries competed in the traditional simulation-based “CRP Competition!” in a friendly yet competitive atmosphere.

Since 1989, the European Resuscitation Council (ERC) has provided the standard for resuscitation guidelines and training in Europe and beyond. This year ERC Congress RESUS23 unfolded in the city of Barcelona from November 2nd to 4th, 2023. With a total of 1,549 attendees, ERC Congress witnessed an international blend of resuscitation enthusiasts from 64 nations, emphasizing the global significance of advancing CPR practices and resuscitation science. Prominent nations included the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, Spain, Denmark, Belgium, Germany, Finland, Sweden, South Korea, and Italy. Attendees represented diverse professions, including physicians, nurses, healthcare providers, students, and more, fostering a vibrant exchange of insights.

Elevating Education and simulation

The conference covered a diverse array of topics, reflecting the ever-evolving landscape of resuscitation science. Education and training took the spotlight with riveting sessions. “High Fidelity Simulation and Virtual Reality: Shaping the Future of Education in Cardiac Arrest” explored the evolution of CPR training. Chaired by Carsten Lott, ERC Director Training and Education, and Pier Luigi Ingrassia, President Elect of SESAM and Editor-in-Chief of our magazine, this joint session brought together the experts Cristina Diaz-Navarro and Federico Semeraro to discuss the future of high-fidelity simulation in cardiac arrest education and the integration of virtual reality in schoolchildren’s CPR training. 

“Meet the Experts – Novel Training Strategies” uncovered innovative CPR training methodologies. Speakers Robert Greif, Francesc Carmona, and Ileana Lulic explored social media’s role, immersive virtual learning, and personalized education in enhancing cardiac arrest survival rates. Specifically, the discussion centered on how social media platforms can disseminate life-saving techniques, virtual learning environments can offer immersive simulations, and personalized training can address specific knowledge and skill gaps.

Simulation on stage

Adding an element of excitement to the congress was the traditional “CPR competition!”. This year saw 17 teams from different countries vying for top honors. National resuscitation council teams from Denmark, Austria, the Netherlands, the Czech Republic, the UK, Ukraine, Malta, Tunisia, Italy, Spain, Turkey, Portugal, Finland, and Egypt showcased their CPR skills in a friendly yet competitive atmosphere. The simulation-based competition highlighted the importance of teamwork, precision, and quick thinking in real-life resuscitation scenarios. 

A panel of 9 international judges ensured impartial evaluations, maintaining competition integrity. 

Three finalists, Malta, Italy, and the UK, showcased extraordinary dedication and skills, with the UK team emerging victorious.

Beyond the scientific program

The exposition hall also featured leading companies in the simulation industry, like Laerdal, Gaumard, Lifecast, SKILLQUBE, AMBU, and 3B Scientific, showcasing cutting-edge technology and simulators for CPR training and resuscitation.

ERC organized its traditional social event at the Hospital de la Santa Creu i Sant Pau, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Attendees explored this architectural marvel, dating back to medieval times, in a unique networking opportunity.

In short

ERC Congress RESUS23 succeeded in bringing together a diverse community of resuscitation specialists, fostering collaboration, and promoting, among other things, innovation in resuscitation education. Simulation and training took center stage, equipping attendees with vital resuscitation skills at the heart of the congress.

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