Prof. Dr. Dr. Kai Zacharowski, Director of the Department of Anesthesiology, Intensive Care and Pain Therapy (KAIS) at Frankfurt University Hospital, has been awarded the Honorary Life Membership and Fellowship (FESAIC) of the European Society of Anaesthesiology and Intensive Care (ESAIC) at the European Congress of Anaesthesiology and Intensive Care Medicine “Euroanaesthesia 2022” in Milan.
The FESAIC title is a prestigious recognition for outstanding achievements in anesthesiology and intensive care. It honors physicians who have exceptionally contributed to patient safety, the advancement of medical practice and teaching, and the comprehensive perception of medicine and health in our society.
As one of the founders of Patient Blood Management (PBM), Prof. Zacharowski pioneered the rational use of blood products in everyday clinical practice almost 14 years ago. The establishment of innovative PBM in hospitals is a major contribution to patient safety – because our blood is remarkably complex, and transfusions of blood products can lead to fatal side effects and long-term complications. Strikingly, the latter have not yet been scientifically investigated. The goal of PBM is to reduce the need for blood transfusions in clinical practice through simple prophylactic measures. The project has been honored with various prizes and awards, including the German Prize for Patient Safety, the Lohfert Prize for Patient Safety, and the Humanitarian Award of the Patient Safety Movement together with US Presidents Barack Obama and Joe Biden.
In line with his future-oriented goals, Prof. Zacharowski endorses digitalization in anesthesiology and intensive care medicine. The ENVISION project is dedicated to the development of a documentation tool with AI-based decision support for intensive care units.. In the future, this tool will be used in intensive care units to increase patient safety and relieve the burden on the medical staff.
Understanding the molecular basis of life-threatening diseases for the development of individual diagnostics and therapy are further seminal research areas of Prof. Zacharowski. During the COVID-19 pandemic, KAIS treated the most COVID-19 patients in Hesse’s largest COVID intensive care unit. Within the clinical trial of COVend, Prof. Zacharowski together with other 16 multidisciplinary partnersis studying the effect of a molecule naturally occurring in the human body (FX06) as a therapeutic agent in COVID-19 patients. FX06 has the potential to prevent disease progression into the severe disease phase. COVend exploits cutting-edge biochemical methods as well as innovative, AI-assisted Big Data analyses and solutions. Such comprehensive research with scope for medical practice is urgently required. Unfortunately, even after more than 2 years of the pandemic no causal, effective, and low side-effect drugs are available in the fight against COVID-19.
Since 2016, Prof. Zacharowski has been a member of the National Academy of Sciences Leopoldina and state chairman of the German Society for Anesthesiology and Intensive Care Medicine (DGAI) in Hesse. He holds central functions in scientific societies and editorial boards of numerous established journals. As an Honorary Member and FESAIC, Prof. Zacharowski now joins a group of worldwide only 32 dedicated professionals who represent excellence and integrity in science and patient care.