1 February 2013
The 6th Coloplast symposium was held in Barcelona on 18 and 19 January 2013. The theme this year was Current topics on prevention of SCI and its complications. More than 450 invited guests attended the event, together with representatives from Coloplast, from all over Europe – and as far away as China. The international composition of the audience was matched by that of the faculty; speakers from Europe, USA, Canada and Australia contributed to the scientific programme.
In his introduction to the meeting, Doug Brown (the current president of ISCoS) explained that the current times of economic recession and cost-cutting in the health sector demand a shift of focus from “treatment” to “prevention”. “Prevention” includes not only the avoidance of injury in the first place, but also the prevention of adverse outcomes following a spinal cord lesion. Doug Brown served for many years as the chair of ISCoS’ Prevention Committee and was the leading author of the prevention module in the learning resource launched last year www.elearnsci.org. He presented this module during the symposium – it should be “required reading” for anyone who is planning a prevention campaign in their country or region. Conversely, one could say that reading this module will make you want to launch a prevention campaign!
Several of the contributions were targeted specifically at the audience of specialist doctors and nurses (who comprised, after all, by far the majority of those present). Those in the audience without a medical background had to concentrate hard to follow the arguments involved! Dr Brian Kwon from Vancouver is to be congratulated for his ability to make the discussion of the neurological benefit of early surgical decompression following a traumatic SCI both interesting and accessible to the layman.
Another contribution from the US, Dr Greg Schilero, made both clinicians and consumers sit up and listen. As a specialist in pulmonary complications following SCI, Dr Schilero recommends not only an annual influenza vaccine for those with chronic SCI, but also a vaccination against pneumonia. Pneumonia is now the prime cause of morbidity and mortality among people with high lesions.
The complications that can follow SCI are not, however, restricted to physical conditions. People living with SCI can also suffer from depression and post-traumatic stress syndrome. Dr Claes Hultling from Spinalis in Sweden addressed this issue in the last presentation of the programme and, importantly, the fact that many SCI health professionals feel insecure when confronted with psychological rather than physical issues. Dr Hultling described the practice of “philosophical counselling” that he and others at Spinalis have developed to help newly-injured SCI patients “to embark on life with more self-awareness and self-security”.
The meeting in Barcelona also witnessed the launch of Coloplast’s newest product. Lars Rasmussen, the CEO of Coloplast, presented the SpeediCath Compact Set; a compact (i.e. telescopic) catheter with an integrated sterile bag.
Lars Rasmussen, CEO Coloplast, presents the latest product!
The device means that it is unnecessary to transfer to a WC in order to catheterise – in fact, one doesn’t need a bathroom at all! The set is available in both female and male versions.
Morten Holmgård (left) interviews Kristian Wiederlander
A video of the presentations from the scientific programme of the symposium will soon be available on the Coloplast website.