This year, two former council member of the ERA-EDTA received the ISN Bywaters Award: Professor Raymond Vanholder from Ghent, Belgium, President of the ERA-EDTA in 2011-2014 (and council member from 2000-2003), and Professor Mehmet Sukru Sever, from Istanbul, Turkey, ERA-EDTA Council member between 2012-2015. Both nephrologists are internationally renowned for their numerous studies on acute kidney injury (AKI) and their 'milestone publications' in high-ranking journals including 'The Lancet'. Vanholder and Sever often worked together and published a number of joint papers, e.g. the European Renal Best Practice Guideline 'Recommendations for the management of crush victims in mass disasters', which aimed to assist medics, paramedics and rescue team members who provide care during disasters. Crush syndrome describes a medical condition characterized by hypovolemic shock, hyperkalemia, infections and AKI.
AKI, a sudden loss of kidney function, is a life-threatening condition which is reversible if treated early. Treating AKI promptly during environmental disasters poses a logistical and clinical challenge of epic proportions. 'Planning the activities of rescue teams and overcoming the enormous difficulties that these self-sacrificing teams face in extreme situations, where disasters isolate people in dire need of help from the rest of the world, is a challenge demanding talent, flexibility and the capacity to deploy a task force prepared to take risks and to face the unexpected', explains Professor Carmine Zoccali, current President of the ERA-EDTA. 'Raymond Vanholder and Mehmet Server have made outstanding contributions towards rationalizing the planning of interventions in extreme situations such as environmental disasters. They are truly heirs of Eric Bywaters, a British clinician who, during the last world war, studied casualties whose limbs had been trapped by falling masonry and who developed fatal kidney failure after being rescued. Bywaters showed that timely administration of alkaline fluids could keep the patient alive until the kidneys could heal. He was also the first to introduce the artificial kidney to the UK for patients with kidney damage. We are delighted that both have been recognized for their commitment and have received the 2019 ISN Bywaters Award.'
The awards were presented this April at WCN 2019 in Melbourne.
With more than 11,000 members, the ERA-EDTA ("European Renal Association - European Dialysis and Transplant Association") is one of the biggest nephrology associations worldwide and one of the most important and prestigious European Medical Associations. It supports basic and clinical research in the fields of clinical nephrology, dialysis, renal transplantation and related subjects. It also supports a number of studies as well as research groups and has founded a special "Fellowship Programme" for young investigators as well as grant programmes. In order to involve young nephrologists in all its activities, ERA-EDTA has created the "Young Nephrologists' Platform" (YNP), a very active committee whose board includes members who are 40 years old or younger. In addition, it has established various working groups to promote the collaboration of nephrologists with other medical disciplines (e.g. cardiology, immunology). Furthermore, a "European Renal Best Practice" (ERBP) advisory board was established by the ERA-EDTA to draw up and publish guidelines and position statements. Another important goal of the ERA-EDTA is education: The series of CME courses combined with the annual congress offer an attractive scientific programme to cover the need for continuous medical education for doctors working in the fields of nephrology, dialysis and transplantation. The association's journals, NDT (Nephrology, Dialysis, Transplantation) and CKJ (Clinical Kidney Journal), are currently the leading nephrology journals in Europe; furthermore NDT-Educational is the Society's online educational journal , with free access for all users, as well as being a very important and useful feature of the NDT-Educational "Literature Review". The ERA-EDTA Registry is a large epidemiologic database comparing countries by assessing nephrology practices throughout Europe. ENP, the European Nephrology Portal, is the latest new initiative of ERA-EDTA, where all those interested in the activities of the Society can find everything that is happening, all in one place. Finally, ERA-EDTA is a member of the European Kidney Health Alliance (EKHA), a consortium of patients, nurses and foundations relating to renal issues that actively interacts with the European Parliament. For more information, please visit http://www.era-edta.org