European Society of Paediatric and Neonatal Intensive Care

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The European Society of Paediatric and Neonatal Intensive Care (ESPNIC) is a Europe-wide medical association that works to promote paediatric and neonatal intensive care standards among health care professionals, notably doctors and nurses in the field.


ESPNIC is dedicated to promoting “the delivery of the highest quality of care to the critically ill children throughout Europe.”[1]


ESPNIC was founded during the 1980 International Congress on Paediatrics in Barcelona, Spain by a group of physicians attending the congress. They decide to meet annually to discuss paediatric intensive care. The group adopted the name “The Society of Paediatric Intensive Care (ESPIC).” In 1987, the ESPIC Nurse Working Group was founded, which was made into a separate branch of the society in 1994. In 1998 the name of the society was changed to ESPNIC out of the realization of the importance of neonatal intensive care nurses and physicians in the organization. As of 2015, ESPNIC had over 400 members in and outside of Europe.[2]


One of ESPNIC's flagship activity is its European Paediatric/Neonatal Intensive Care Diploma (EPIC Diploma). The purpose of the EPIC Diploma program is to harmonize and improve quality standards for safe, independent practice in paediatric and neonatal intensive care in Europe and elsewhere. The EPIC Diploma program is intended to be complementary to national standards and enhance the competent, ethical, and professional care of critically ill children.

The ESPNIC Academy is ESPNIC's one stop educational e-learning portal. It is the 'go-to' learning tool in the field of paediatric and neonatal intensive care featuring a wide range of educational content developed by ESPNIC over the years.

ESPNIC also maintains a registry of pediatric intensive care units (PICUs) and neonatal intensive care units (NICUs) throughout Europe on their website. The registry lists important PICUs and NICUs in seventeen European countries as well as in Canada, Israel, South Africa, and Turkey.[3]

In even-numbered years, ESPNIC in collaboration with the European Academy of Paediatrics (EAP), and the European Society of Paediatric Research (ESPR) host the Congress of the European Academy of Paediatric Societies (EAPS). ESPNIC, EAP & ESPR are pediatrics sub-specialty societies and have turned this biannual event into a major educational platform, attracting high quality presentations that have subsequently appeared in leading publications. The Congress' most important content is, as always, the free papers.

In odd-numbered years, ESPNIC hosts their congresses alone to present the latest technological developments in the field of paediatric and neonatal intensive care and provide a forum for health care professionals to discuss their research efforts. The congress takes place in a different European location each year.

Another even-numbered year conference ESPNIC is associated with is the European Conference on Pediatric and Neonatal Mechanical Ventilation (EPNV). EPNV emphasizes free paper and e-poster presentations offering young pediatricians, neonatologists, pediatric intensivists, pediatric anesthetists, a multidisciplinary forum where they can present their research and share their clinical experience with all participants.

ESPNIC together with the Pediatric Cardiac Intensive Care Society (PCICS), the Working Group on Paediatric Cardiovascular Intensive Care (WGPCIC) of the Association for European Paediatric Congenital Cardiology (AEPC) jointly organise the European Conference on Paediatric and Neonatal Cardiac Intensive Care (EPNCIC) which is an international forum in its 5th year for sharing inter-disciplinary work resulting in improving the management of paediatric cardiac patients.

ESPNIC will organise for the first time in June 2016 an annual Summer Paediatric & Neonatal Intensive Care Workshop. Based on the courses run at the ESPNIC congresses, this 3-day refresher course is targeted at candidates preparing for the European Paediatric/Neonatal Intensive Care Diploma™, as well as individuals who want to refresh their knowledge in paediatric intensive care medicine.

ESPNIC has officially formed the following sections to support its various scientific activities:

ESPNIC’s official journal is the Intensive Care Medicine (ICM). ICM is also the official journal of the European Society of Intensive Care Medicine. Its impact factor is 7.214 (2014). Section "Critical care medicine": Rank 3 of 19. It serves as a platform for the communication and exchange of the latest developments in intensive care medicine. Its readership is directed to all experts in the field: physicians, anesthetists, surgeons, paediatricians as well as those involved with pre-clinical subjects and medical sciences basic to these disciplines.


ESPNIC’s Executive Committee consists of the following members:

  • Joe Brierley, Medical President, UK
  • Simon Nadel, Medical President Elect, UK
  • Barbara Grädel, Nursing President, Switzerland
  • Lyvonne Tume, Nursing President Elect, UK
  • Agnes van den Hoogen, Secretary, The Netherlands
  • Burkhard Simma, Treasurer, Austria
  • Pierre Tissières, Chair Scientific Committee, France
  • Marek Migdal, Chair Professional Development Committee, Poland

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