Symposium reflection

So the Symposium is now over in Sydney and back to work with a vengeance. It all seems so long ago now. However, a good time for reflection on the experience and learning.

This was an excellent event and although I attended care sessions only, time spent in looking at some of the scientific posers around did help build up my knowledge and understanding of the research into cause of MND/ALS and some of the exciting work that continues in discovering new markers.

The presentations on cognitive change and respiratory function were of particular value and it was interesting to see the differing cultural approaches to NIV and permanent tracheostomies around the world. I am not sure that our social care and health care systems are geared up at all to meet the demands of caring for someone on permanent ventilation so a lot learned around the implications for our care system – indeed, if we add diaphragmatic pacing to this then this really does begin to challenge our care provision in the home as technology advances.

It was an honour to co-chair one of the sessions on international persepctives on care and the one that focussed on palliative care. Some really interesting ethical discussions were had on withdrawal of NIV at end of life and again the different approaches world wide, and the huge pressure of Practitioners and families in making these decions.

Here’s to Chicago in 2012