Glasgow 1979 and 2010

The 2010 Annual Scientific Meeting in Glasgow co-hosted by the APA and the Canadian Pediatric Anesthesia Society was the most recent example of the APA’s long involvement in joint meetings, held both at home and abroad, with kindred spirit organisations.

The first such venture, in November 1979, was also in collaboration with our Canadian colleagues. The Department of Anaesthesia at the Hospital for Sick Children (“Sick Kids”) in Toronto first held a weekend Paediatric Anaesthesia Conference in November 1964 and from 1971 to the present day, meetings have taken place on an alternate year basis. In early 1979 the APA was invited by the local organisers to become involved in the conference to be held later that year – the end-result being the association’s first “away” trip!

The conference was held over the weekend of November 7th – 9th 1979. On the Friday evening there were three parallel sessions, one of which was devoted entirely to presentations by visiting APA members, on subjects as diverse as postoperative thoracic epidurals in children (Douglas Arthur, Glasgow) and transcutaneous measurement of anaesthetic agents (Tom Abbott, Liverpool). The other APA speakers were Robert Smith (Boston), Richard Burtles (Edinburgh), Mario Govaerts (Brussels), David Hatch (London) and Zdzislaw Rondio (Warsaw) while chairman for the session was Harold Love (Belfast) who was APA President at the time.

Gordon Bush and Gordon Jackson Rees (both Liverpool) spoke on laryngomalacia and dilators versus inotropes in paediatric cardiac anaesthesia respectively on the Saturday afternoon, while both were also part of the panel in a “Question the Experts” session on the Sunday. Larry Roy, who delivered the 9th Jackson Rees Lecture and was also conferred with APA honorary membership in Glasgow last May, recalls that he was a fellow in Sick Kids at the time of the 1979 meeting. He remembers the British “invasion” and the fact that he wondered at the time what was going on!

With thanks to David Steward and Larry Roy