Scientific Sections

In view of developing and expanding our activities, and further involving our members, we are pleased to announce that ESPNIC has the following sections to support its various scientific activities.

Our members can join ESPNIC’s Scientific Sections. Please note that you may be a member of multiple sections. You may select or change your membership choice here anytime. If you need technical support, please email our membership services.

The aim of the Cardiac ICU and Mechanical Circulatory Support is to advocate for high level and trans-disciplinary transitional care for children with congenital heart disease.

Current research activities:

  1. Demographics of European Cardiac Intensive Care research practices/platform

Chair: Aparna Hoskote
Deputy Chair: Angelo Polito

The aim of the Cardiovascular Dynamics section is to support education, research and development of guidelines in hemodynamic physiology, monitoring and treatment in critically ill children of all ages. It is the ambition of the section to be a reference point for pediatric intensivists with an interest in cardiovascular dynamics and to increase collaboration with others.

Chair: Yogen Singh
Deputy Chair: Javier Urbano

This aim of the Critical Care Nephrology section is to focus on education and research activities in the field of Acute kidney injury (AKI) and renal replacement therapy (RRT) in children. We aim to provide practical and evidence based education in these areas to improve the delivery of various modalities of RRT to critically sick children admitted to intensive care units in order to improve the outcomes of these children.

Current research activities:

  1. Survey of the current practice of renal replacement therapy across European units
  2. Textbook of Critical care nephrology and Renal replacement therapy in children – Editors – Akash Deep and Stuart Goldstein
  3. Structuring a postgraduate course on Critical care nephrology and hands-on workshop on renal replacement therapy in children

Future :

  1. Point prevalence study of acute kidney injury (AKI in children admitted to Paediatric intensive care units in Europe
  2. Core-curriculum for medical and nursing staff delivering RRT to children in Paediatric intensive care units

Chair: Demet Demirkol
Deputy Chair: Gérard Cortina

The aim of the Ethics section is to foster discussion and debate around ethical issues in the care of critically ill children.

Chair (acting): Joe Brierley
Deputy Chair (acting): Marek Migdal

The aim of the Infection, Systemic Inflammation and Sepsis section is to facilitate research and organize education to improve outcomes in the treatment and prevention of critically ill children and neonates with infection, systemic inflammation and sepsis.

Research projects: the following focus areas are proposed to be prioritized for 2022

  1. Blood purification in critically ill children
  2. Development of Antibiotic Stewardship Guidelines for PICUs
  3. Quality improvement in targeting pediatric sepsis in Europe in 2022

Luregn Schlapbach
Deputy Chair: Gabriella Bottari

The aim of the Metabolism, endocrinology, and nutrition section is to provide the optimal nutritional and metabolic support to ensure the best short- and long-term outcome for every critically ill child. We need to elucidate the causes and consequences of metabolic and nutritional changes in critically ill children.This will pave the way forward to individualized nutrition and treatment in the right modality at the right time of the disease course.

Research Activities: A recent survey on EN practices in cardiac surgical neonates (BEneFic) has been closed and is accepted for publication in PCCM. A collaboration between Lyvonne Tume and Frederic Valla has led to a study the practices and evidence for measuring GRV in the PICU.

A survey on the impact and implementation of the PEPaNIC results in PICUs worldwide is currently being performed.

Development of ESPNIC nutritional guidelines, in which the entire MEN group is involved. The Search methods have been designed and currently all abstracts are being judged. The guidelines are expected to be finished in the second part of 2018.

Chair: Sascha Verbruggen
Deputy Chair: Lynne Latten

The aim of the Neuro Critical Care Section is to bring together researchers, clinicians & educators in the field of paediatric neuro-critical care from across Europe to improve our understanding of the injuries and diseases that affect the brain. We aim to advance diagnostic skills, monitoring techniques and therapeutic management of these conditions within paediatric and neonatal critical care, to improve the neurodevelopmental outcomes of the infants and children we care for.

Current Studies On-going in Neuro Critical Care:

1) Survey of neuro-critical care service delivery across Europe, describing models of care and variations in practice

2) ESPNIC guideline development for recommendations in multi-modal neuro-monitoring in paediatric critical care.

Chair: Karl Florian Schettler
Deputy Chair: Shruti Agrawal

The aim of the Nursing Science section is to provide a European forum for clinical nurses, researchers and Nurse Scientists to generate evidence in order to advance practice in the care for critically ill  children and neonates. We aim to create a climate to nurture the collaboration, development, delivery and implementation of nursing research into paediatric critical care across Europe that has a demonstrable impact on the experience, outcomes and lives of children and their families.

Research Activities: The study PARK-PICU EU (Prevalence of Acute Rehab for Kids in the PICU in Europe) is a point prevalence study aimed at establishing the prevalence and characteristics of mobility as part of routine clinical care for critically ill children. Furthermore, demographic and treatment-related barriers to formal involvement of physical and occupational therapists (PT/OT) in the care of PICU patients will be studied as well as factors associated with mobility progression. The results of the study will inform interventional trials testing the effect of early mobilization interventions on short and long-term outcomes in children undergoing active neurocognitive and physical development.

A related study is the US PARK-PICU study, led by Sapna Kudchadkar, MD at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. At this moment, more than 70 US sites are involved. In collaboration with Dr. Kudchadkar, I am initiating and leading the PARK-PICU study Europe-wide. PARK-PICU EU is endorsed by the Executive Committee of the European Society of Pediatric and Neonatal Intensive Care (ESPNIC).

PARK-PICU EU data collection will take place on two days, the first in March/April 2018. This will involve screening of all patients in participating PICUs who already have been admitted in the PICU for at least 72 hours. General information can be found at the website for the US PARK-PICU study, which is identical to the PARK-PICU-EU study.

Chair: Chiara Tosin
Deputy Chair: Rui Bacelos Silva

The aim of the Paediatric and Neonatal nursing section is to bring clinical PICU and NICU nurses from across Europe together.  This is a forum for members to share experiences in daily practices, discuss clinical uncertainties, review education about PICU and NICU and discuss the impact of research on daily practice. Education is a really important part of our section and we are committed to developing and raising minimal educational standards for PICU and NICU nurses, to improve the quality of care for critically ill children and neonates across Europe. There is some fantastic research taking place by nursing and allied health professionals and we work closely with the Nursing Science section to help implement research results and evidence into daily practice. This helps ensure that our members have access to the best evidence surrounding PICU and NICU care and our patients and families receive the best care possible.

Chair: Julie Menzies
Deputy Chair: Katee Baptiste

The aim of the Pharmacology section is to enhance the level of evidence based pharmacotherapy in critically ill newborns and children, to provide the scientific community a forum for discussions around innovative trial designs appropriate for the PICU environment, and be a leader in postgraduate education in the area of pharmacotherapy.

Research activities: CloSed trial ( multicenter study CloSed FP7).  This study aimes to develop new guidelines for dosage regimen and drug formulation  of clonidine that can be used for sedation in neonates and children as well this study focuses on 1 year follow up therefore challenging is to be connected also with the follow up program and  follow up section as well. Our pharmacology section  and future direction will be to focus on the acute pharmacotherapy (individualized therapy) – should be also connected with other sections and will focus on long term outcome of diseases including pharmacotherapy  as newer future direction  (personalized pharmacotherapy).

Chair: Angela Amigoni
Deputy Chair: Saskia de Wildt

The aim of the Quality improvement, patient safety, and long term outcomes section is to improve individual care during and after PICU admission and provide a basis for outcome research, intervention studies and follow-up after trials performed in the PICU.

Chair: Gayathri Subramanian
Deputy Chair: Joseph Manning

The aim of the Respiratory Failure section is to improve the acute and long-term outcome of the critically ill child by promoting, encouraging and performing education and scientific research related to all aspects of acute respiratory failure in children, including pathophysiology, diagnostics, and treatment.

Current research activities:

  1. VESPER study
  2. Participating in PEDIAPART study organized by the French network
  3. Participating in PARDIE study organized by PALICC network
  4. Dr. Martin Kneyber is leading a study about HFOV. PROSpect — PRone and OScillation Pediatric Clinical Trial


  1. Recommendations for mechanical ventilation of critically ill children from the Paediatric Mechanical Ventilation Consensus Conference (PEMVECC) on behalf of the section Respiratory Failure of the European Society for Paediatric and Neonatal Intensive Care
  2. PEDNIVES. Survey about NIV use in Europe
  3. ARDS Berlin´s definition in Paediatrics

Chair: Robert Blokpoel
Deputy Chair: Nilufer Yalindag-Ozturk

The aim of the Resuscitation Section is to collate, promote and disseminate best practices in the identification of the deteriorating child and management of the child and infant in cardiorespiratory arrest to optimise outcomes. This will include a focus on education and training of providers in quality improvement CPR programmes.

Chair: Jimena del Castillo
Deputy Chair: Marta Sardà Sánchez

The aim of the ESPNIC Transport Section is to improve the clinical care of the critically ill newborn and child requiring inter-hospital transport and to improve the experience of their parents and families.

Current research activities:

Survey of current provision of transport for critically ill newborns and children in Europe: The Transport Section has developed and conducted a survey of European transport professionals to better understand the current status of transport, such as activity, team composition, patient groups transported and specialist interventions provided. Having this baseline information will allow us to target areas for improvement in the future.

Chair: Ulrich Terheggen
Deputy Chair: Dora Wood