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ISTH e-Newsletter: ISTH Portugal Course Review
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ISTH Second Advanced Training Course Report from Cascais, Portugal

From March 13-16, 2014, the ISTH Second Advanced Training Course brought 150 professionals working in the field of thrombosis and hemostasis from over 40 countries to Cascais, Portugal. Facilitating networking between ISTH members is one of the most important tasks of the ISTH, and the Second Advanced Training Course provided a wonderful opportunity for both the participants and the faculty to spend three days of intensive discussions and exchange on the subjects of blood coagulation and bleeding disorders, platelets and venous thrombosis during the lecture sessions, the case presentations and the Meet the Expert sessions.

The course, led by ISTH Education Committee Chairman, Andreas Greinacher, was a resounding success. Over 90 percent of attendees rated the course as either “very” or “extremely” productive. Many attendees specifically highlighted the Meet the Expert sessions, with one attendee commenting, “It was of great value to meet experts in the field and to discuss controversial issues.”

The program opened with Björn Dahlbäck and David Lillicrap discussing blood coagulation and bleeding disorders, including sessions on the coagulation system, hemophilia treatment challenges, diagnosis of VWF and control of coagulation. Dr. Dahlbäck later commented that “[it was] a great course with dedicated and active participants and teachers in a wonderful environment, it was a privilege to be on the faculty.” On the second day, the program continued with Flip de Groot and Bernd Pötzsch wrapping up the discussions on blood coagulation and bleeding disorder by discussing hemostasis in patients with impaired liver function and how to approach patients with bleeding.

The remaining part of day two and beginning of day three was dedicated to venous thrombosis, with presentations by Sabine Eichinger, Flip de Groot, Sam Schulman and Bernd Pötzsch. Topics included the challenges uniquely faced by women and the risk factor of pregnancy and novel antithrombotic drugs. From there, the discussion turned to platelets and platelet disorders with discussions led by Christian Gachet, Andreas Greinacher and Ted Warkentin.

The exchange of information extended far beyond the daily speaker presentations, as the format of the course allowed for contributions from all parties throughout the day with free discussion sessions and the highly-regarded Meet the Expert sessions that extended well into the night. As one attendee stated, “The informal format for discussion with world experts at [every] stage of the meeting was great.”

By the end of the course, attendees left feeling enthusiastic and well-equipped with new and refreshed knowledge of the course subject material. Final comments from an attendee included that “I would highly recommend the meeting to colleagues and the learning experience was great.”

The Society wishes to thank the ISTH Education Committee for organizing the course and the generous contribution from the course sponsor, Instrumentation Laboratory.

Future Advanced Training Courses are currently in development for other areas of the world. Going forward, the course topics and other activities overseen by the ISTH Education Committee will be informed by the ISTH Core Curriculum, currently under development.

Find more information about this past Second Advanced Course online here.

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