group espen shot

ESPEN 2014 was held in Geneva Switzerland, the home to the World Health Organisation, World Trade Organisation, and the United Nations, amongst other important international organisations.  The opening lecture was titled “Why we are not the slaves of our genes” and was delivered without slides by Professor Gottfried Schatz from Switzerland.  I have never heard such an articulate philosophical oration in my entire life, very impressive!  The welcome party followed the opening ceremony and in true Aussie style the DC tour attendees danced the night away.

The highlight of day two was fellow Australians, Suzie Ferrie from the Royal Prince Alfred Hospital, Sydney and Gemma Collins from The Austin Hospital, Melbourne receiving ESPEN Best Abstract Awards. Congratulations!  View Suzie’s presentation on “Protein in parenteral nutrition for ICU patients: a randomised controlled trial” here. View Gemma’s presentation on “Weight gain and obesity after orthotopic liver transplant at Austin Health” here.  And to top it off Peter Collins from Queensland University received an outstanding poster award. View Peter’s poster on “Nutritional support in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD): a randomised trial” here.

In the session on economic aspects of nutrition, Professor Roulin outlined a study investigating the cost-effectiveness of ERAS implementation in colorectal patients (published in the British Journal of Surgery 2013).  The study found that ERAS resulted in a shorter length of stay (by 3 days) and a total mean cost saving of 1651 Euro per patient. Professor Elia summarised the literature demonstrating that malnutrition screening results in a reduction in length of stay (by at least one day) and significant monetary cost savings, and as such is highly recommended for implementation by NICE guidelines.

Post-conference sightseeing led some of us to the delights of Gruyeres in Switzerland for a Willy Wonka like chocolate factory tour, cheese-making display, fondue sampling and wine tasting.  Heaven!

A big thank you to the DC study tour attendees:  Liz Isenring, our networker extraordinaire; Judy Bauer, our sommelier; Merran Findlay, our resident French interpreter; Dione Jacka, our local travel guide; Jessica Barbon, our photographer; and Emma Schwartzkoff, our dancing queen and entertainer!

And special thanks to Nestlè Health Science and Jane Winter for making the DC study tour possible.

View photos from the DC ESPEN study tour here

Read the ESPEN twitter feed transcript here

Read DC study tour attendees’ summaries of ESPEN below

Read about the DC tour of the Nestlé Research Centre here