Message from our President, Marc Lazarovici

Profile picture of Marc Lazarovici

A very warm welcome to our new format newsletter, which will alternate with the #SesamOnline series of presentations.

First of all, I would like to thank all our members and supporters, as well as the healthcare and educational community at large, for all the intense efforts during the current crisis.  I am very confident that our shared values of helping and supporting each other will prove most valuable in the current situation and help us all overcome this crisis.

I hope we will all meet again in person as soon as possible, while in the meantime we as a society will step up the virtual engagement with you.

This newsletter will cover several topics, from the 2020 Annual Meeting, through the work of the EC to keep our society healthy and productive and going to several resources we would like to share with all of you.


Seville Old Quarter

Our 2020 meeting, planned to be held in Milan in June, will be postponed – after intense work and following closely the current situation, we decided to move it to 14th-16th of April 2021 and change the location to Seville.

We will come back to the new location and give you some preliminary information on it later in this newsletter, and I would be very happy to see you all there!

Along the way to the conference, we will keep up the engagement by offering a monthly online presentation, alternating scientific content with more society-oriented content. We are working very closely with the Scientific Committee to detemine the speakers and subjects to be presented – please follow our communication channels and social media presences closely to stay informed on the upcoming topics.

Also, we will create a special COVID-19 track at the Seville meeting, where we encourage you to submit your work related to the Coronavirus crisis. All abstracts accepted for Milan will be carried over to Seville – should you wish to update your abstract with recent results, please contact the Scientific Committee for this.

Abstract submissions for the COVID-19 as well as for an additional Spanish track will open at beginning of August 2020.



Finally, I would like to address two topics regarding our society – the 2020 EC elections and the financial stability of the society.

As our current bylaws ask for in-person elections for any EC position, and we will not have an in-person AGM until the meeting, we have decided to keep the current EC structure until we are able to have a bylaws-conform election process in Seville.

Looking at the broader implications of the current crisis, however, and as we were planning an update and reworking of our bylaws anyhow, we will make sure that all possibilities of electronic elections allowed by law will be integrated in the proposal of the new bylaws.

Postponing the Annual Meeting does have a significant impact on our society’s finances. In order to ensure financial stability the EC is working very closely together with Worldspan to identify and implement measures to mitigate this. One of these measures is to postpone the employment of our Executive Director to later this year, in order to ensure the best use of the funds allocated to this position.

This being said, I would like to conclude my message by wishing you all good health – I hope to meet everyone in Seville for a wonderful event!

Let us all contribute in moving our society forward, learning from the current situation and improving the way our society is working


Simulations during Covid-19 pandemic: Recent experiences - a summary of literature by SESAM Secretary, Pier Luigi Ingrassia


In the last few months, the international scientific community has tried to share the experiences gained in the fight against Coronavirus.

Simulation has been reported several times as a tool to improve the interdisciplinary performance of the care teams and to identify system errors and latent hazards. Here some interesting examples.

In the last months, we all have read a lot about the novel coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) also known as COVID‐19: from its genomic characterisation to the clinical management and treatment of confirmed cases.

Simulation is also playing its role in this fight against the virus and its pandemic effects. Simulation, in fact, has been reported as a tool not only to improve interdisciplinary performance of the care teams but also to identify system errors and latent hazards.

For those who missed them, here some interesting examples.

A good read!

Pier Luigi

[Wong J, et al. Preparing for a COVID-19 Pandemic: A Review of Operating Room Outbreak Response Measures in a Large Tertiary Hospital in Singapore. Can J Anaesth, 2020; 1-14.

Available at:]

According to a recent paper by Wong et al. (2020), in situ simulations were instrumental in identifying and resolving flaws in the response plan to COVID-19 at a large tertiary hospital in Singapore. Specifically, the authors designed and implemented a simulation scenario that required participants to perform resuscitation while wearing personal protection equipment (PPE) and powered air-purifying respirators (PAPR).

Under these conditions, the authors then looked for latent threats and potential problems of containment procedures and assessed the workflow and staff management in the operating room. Thanks to the data gathered during these simulation sessions, the anesthesiologists and surgeons were able to identify—and subsequently correct—several unexpected problems, including lack of supervision and coordination, environmental limitations, unsatisfactory equipment set-up, communication breakdowns, lack of familiarity with PPE usage and infection control breaches.

[Fregene TE, et al. Use of in situ simulation to evaluate the operational readiness of a high-consequence infectious disease intensive care unit. Anaesthesia. 2020. [Epub ahead of print].

Available at:]

Fregene et al. (2020) have recently described their experience gained by performing in situ simulations in a 34-bed Intensive Care Unit at the Royal Free Hospital in London. The sessions, conducted in a one day period in one of the four negative pressure isolation chambers of the ward, were developed and coordinated by 2 facilitators: one expert of infectious diseases and one consultant anesthetist with a long-standing experience in simulation training. The scenarios, which involved 4 participants at a time, were designed to verify the robustness of the procedures put in place to manage COVID-19 patients and train staff on how to don and doff PPE according to national guidelines and local protocols. These simulations unveiled a number of important latent risks, such as the lack of intubation equipment trolley for COVID-19 patients, the absence of a checklist or protocol for patient pronation and the inability to read the posters with instructions for donning and doffing due to the small character size. Overall, the identification of these latent risks allowed the authors to plan corrective measures aimed to improve COVID-19 patient management.

[Lockhart SL, et al. Simulation as a tool for assessing and evolving your current personal protective equipment: lessons learned during the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic. Can J Anaesth. 2020. [Epub ahead of print].]

As reported by Lockhart, et al. (2020) in situ simulation of a positive COVID-19 patient being intubated proved to be powerful tool for testing and adapting PPE, thereby improving staff safety with respect to standard guidelines. Furthermore, this training not only promoted careful and meticulous use of PPE even at the early stages of the emergency but also boosted staff morale, thereby strengthening the team effort.

[Carenzo L et al. Hospital surge capacity in a tertiary emergency referral centre during the COVID‐19 outbreak in Italy. Anaesthesia. 2020 Apr 4. doi: 10.1111/anae.15072. [Epub ahead of print]. Available at:]

Carenzo et al. (2020) have recently published their results on the training and in situ simulation sessions performed before the opening of a COVID-19 Intensive Care Unit. In two days, they were able to train 28 clinicians, 39 nurses and 10 health workers on how to adopt best practices for PPE usage as well as patient intubation, supination and pronation.

[Dieckmann P, et al. The use of simulation to prepare and improve responses to infectious disease outbreaks like COVID-19: practical tips and resources from Norway, Denmark, and the UK. Advances in simulation 2020; vol. 5 3. 16 Apr. 2020, doi:10.1186/s41077-020-00121-5. Available at:]

Dieckmann and collaborators present tips and resources for the use of simulation to respond to COVID-19 crisis. The authors describe tools which can be used to analyse needs, explain how simulation can help to improve responses to the emergency situations, how to integrate simulation into organisations, and key elements to pay attention when conducting simulations. They also provide an overview of helpful resources and scenarios to support centre-based and in situ simulations

SESAM Online


We are delighted to welcome Dr Crisitna Diaz-Navarro, Cardiff and Vale Univeristy Health Board, Wales, UK as our guest speaker for the next edition of SESAM Online - 20 May, 1300GMT/1400CET.  We hope to welcome you to this next broadcast after which there will be an opportunity for Q&A with our guest speaker and her colleagues Dr Paul Frost, Clinical Reader and Director of Clinical Skills and Simulation, School of Medicine, Cardiff University and Dr John Dunne, Postgraduate Simulation Lead for Cardiff and Vale University Health Board.

Dr Diaz-Navarro will share their experience in the development and delivery of both immediate and sustained large-scale multi-professional simulation training during the COVID pandemic in Cardiff, as well as the positive outcomes enjoyed and the lessons learnt in the process.

About our Speaker:

Dr Diaz-Navarro is a full time NHS Consultant Anaesthetist with an interest in neuro-anaesthesia at the University Hospital of Wales (UK). She has been involved in simulation based education and debriefing since 2006 and led the development of undergraduate and postgraduate medical and dental simulation education in Cardiff since 2008. Her academic work has focussed on human factors training and simulation faculty development since 2011.

She has been the Simulation Education Lead for the Welsh School of Anaesthesia since 2013. Her role includes coordination and quality assurance of simulation education to anaesthetic trainees across Wales and liaison with the Royal College of Anaesthetists.

Dr Diaz-Navarro is the lead author in the creation of the TALK framework for clinical debriefing, which aims to fill an international gap in clinical safety culture. It is designed to guide structured team self-debriefing after any learning event in clinical environments. This project was awarded a Marie Sklowdoska-Curie Actions Grant (Horizon 2020 programme, European Commission) funding a collaboration between UK, Spain and Norway institutions. She chairs the Board of Trustees of the TALK Foundation.

Dr Diaz-Navarro enjoys developing innovative simulation based projects that encourage new perspectives for reflection on everyday elements of healthcare.

SESAM Annual Meeting - Seville 2021


We are delighted to announce that our location and venue for the postposed 2020 meeting will be the FIBES congress centre in Seville.  This purpose built venue offers the society a great location to meet, learn, collaborate and plan as a community.

Seville, for those who dont already know and love it, blends tradition and modernity effortlessly and we believe this easily accessible, dynamic and surprising city will provide a wonderful backdrop for this first meeting of our community as we celebrate the ability to join together after the tribulations of the year that went before!

We are sure that you all - like us - are looking forward to this chance to see old colleagues and friends - and the chance to make new connections and collaborations.

While we wait for the moment to be able to rejoin - you can enjoy some snapshots of our location for April next year HERE and we promise more information and detail around the programme and registration will be coming very soon.

iRIS collaboration platform - free access for SESAM Members


With a rich collection of assets growing on the iRIS platform we encourage all members to visit and collaborate - we also invite you to make particular use of the SESAM Covid-19 preparedness forum.

iRIS is a unique, collaborative, web-based platform to help you design high quality scenarios / cases that offer the best learning experience possible, as well as helping you get the best value from the investments you have made in simulation resources.

Over 1,000 simulation professionals author using the iRIS Health Simulation Authoring Platform.

Whether you are building simulation using task trainers, high fidelity manikins, or standardized patients, iRIS will support you in developing the highest quality scenario / case.

iRIS provides a web-based, standardised development template with single-click access to all resources required to deliver scenarios / cases.

Access is free to all SESAM members (you can sign up here) and we look forward to seeing all your contributions in this space.


facebook twitter linkedin


Subscribe to SESAM Online

Become a SESAM Member

Follow our LinkedIn page



Our next SESAM Online Broadcast

20 May | 1300 GMT/1400 CET | SESAM Online

Contribute to our newsletter!

We welcome any suggestions or proposals for content for the newsletter from our SESAM community - drop us a line at to let us know what you would like to see in the next newsletter or to propose an article.

Many thanks and we hope you enjoy this edition.