Update: IAPCON 2022, Jaipur

IAPCON 2022 begins with a series of enriching and interactive workshops and a star studded inauguration ceremony!

The much awaited 29th Annual International conference of the Indian Association of Palliative Care (IAPCON 2022) began virtually on Thursday, 10th February, 2022. The conference will facilitate over 600 participants to network and collaborate while also learn from each other and from a stellar faculty list.

The conference is slated to have 9 pre-conference workshops, 34 sessions in the main conference which will be delivered by several national and 40 international faculty! The conference organisers have shared that 140 scientific abstracts have been received till date. The Rajasthan Medical Council has offered 8 credits for the course.

The conference began with a series of very enriching pre conference workshops that kept the delegates riveted to their screens. Of the 9 pre-conference workshops organised, 3 were organised as in-person sessions while the remaining 6 were delivered virtually.

Please find below a short synopsis from each of the pre conference sessions.

1. Session name: End of Life Nurse Education Consortium (ELNEC)

Mode: In person session at Mahatma Gandhi Medical College and Hospital, Jaipur

Session Lead: Dr Nipun Lamba (Assistant Professor, Pain & Palliative Medicine, Mahatma Gandhi Medical College & Hospital, Jaipur).

Other faculty included:

  • Sr Hanife MacGamwell (Oncology and Hospice Palliative Care Nurse Specialist and Honorary Head, Instructor and Mentor for ELNEC USA in India),
  • Ms Mamta Parihar (H.O.D Medical Surgical Nursing, Government College of Nursing, Jodhpur), and
  • Mr Arvind Kumar Sharma (Nursing Officer, AIIMS, Jodhpur).

The workshop was attended by 45 delegates which included professionals working from oncology care, ICU and Teaching Nursing Faculty.

The interactive session covered the topics of Palliative care Nursing, Understanding the patient and the family concerns, Symptom management, Understanding Pain management and total pain, Communication and Grief.

2. Session name: The Nuances of Social Work in Palliative Care

Mode: In person session at SMSMC Hospital

Session Lead: Dr Ashwin Mathur (Senior Professor and Head, Department of Palliative Medicine, SMSMC, Jaipur) and Dr Gaurav Sharma (Associate Professor, Department of Palliative Medicine, SMSMC, Jaipur).

Other faculties included:

  • Yogendra Singhal (Associate Professor, SMSMC),
  • Dr Mohita (Professor and Head, Department of Sociology, Kanodia College, Rajasthan University),
  • Ms Neetu Mahajan (Social worker, AIIMS, New Delhi),
  • Ms Tanya Bhatt (Social Worker, AIIMS, New Delhi),
  • Ms Rajvinder Kaur (Coordinator third party resource facilitation, CAN Support, New Delhi),
  • Mr Babu Abraham (Head, Social Engagement, Pallium India),
  • Ms Sandra Johnson (Social Officer, Pallium India),
  • Ms Manisha Mary Marshal (Social Officer, Pallium India),
  • Ms Madhura Bhatwadekar (Social worker, Cipla Foundation), and
  • Ms Renuka (Social Worker, Karunashraya).

A total of 26 delegates which included Doctors, Social Workers, Volunteers and Students participated in the workshop. The session was aimed towards providing Training and sharing knowledge sharing session for Social workers and volunteers by faculties across the country.

The takeaway point from the session is as below:

  • There is an urgent need to spread awareness regarding the role of a Social worker and a Volunteer in Palliative Care
  • It is important to identify and engage people from the community by training them to serve the society

3. Session name: Workshop on Ultrasound in Palliative Care

Mode: In person session at Sabhagar, BMCHRC, Jaipur

Session Lead: Dr Sushma Bhatnagar (Professor and Head, Department of Onco-Anaesthesia and Palliative Medicine, AIIMS New Delhi), Dr Sanjay Thulkar (Professor of Radiology, AIIMS New Delhi) and Dr Pushplata Gupta (HOD Onco-Anaesthesia and Palliative Medicine, BMCHRC, Jaipur).

Other faculty were:

  • Department of Onco-Anesthesia and Palliative Medicine, AIIMS Delhi [Dr Sachidanand Jee Bharati (Additional Professor),
  • Dr Mukesh Yadav (Additional Professor),
  • Dr Brajesh Kumar Ratre (Assistant Professor),
  • Dr Prashant Sirohiya (Assistant Professor)],
  • Dr Mayank Gupta (Associate Professor, Department of Anaesthesia and Palliative Medicine, AIIMS Bhatinda),
  • Dr Sanjeev Kumar Sharma (Consultant Pain Medicine, CK Birla hospital, Jaipur), and
  • Dr Prableen Kaur Chatha (Senior Resident, Onco anesthesia and Palliative Medicine, BMCHRC, Jaipur, Consultant Pain Medicine, JIPSI, Jaipur).

The workshop was attended by 45 delegates from different parts of the country including Assam, Karnataka, Rajasthan, Delhi and Punjab; and represented doctors from different fraternities chiefly anaesthesiology and palliative medicine.

The session was schematically designed with brief introductions about do’s and don’ts of ultrasound, USG anatomy, knobology followed by various procedures of head and neck, intercostal nerve block, Celiac plexus block, hypogastric plexus block, ganglion impar block, caudal epidural, facet joint injection for intractable pain management and fluid tapping from pleural and abdominal cavity in advanced malignancies to increase the safety and success rate of procedures. These sessions began with lectures on individual blocks followed by the live scanning on volunteers in a simplified manner. The workshop witnessed enthusiastic participation from both the faculty and the delegates.

4. Session name: Safe use of Methadone

Mode: Virtual

Session Lead: Dr. Sunil Kumar M M (Additional Director – Clinical and Education, Pallium India).

Other faculty included:

  • Dr. Theodore Nguyen (Adjunct Assistant Professor for palliative care, University of Iowa College of Pharmacy, Clinical Pharmacist, Los Angeles County Department of Mental Health),
  • Dr. Gayatri Palat (Professor, Department of Pain and Palliative Medicine, MNJ Institute of Oncology and RCC),
  • Dr John Ely (Geriatrician and palliative care specialist at the University of Minnesota), and also
  • Dr Sunilkumar M M.

The workshop was attended by 25 delegates, most of whom were senior palliative care physicians.

The interactive session covered the theoretical aspects of Methadone use. Delegates were also assigned to breakout rooms, in which delegates practised conversion to methadone with patient stories. Each of these breakout rooms were facilitated by a faculty.

Key takeaways from the session included:

  • Methadone could be used safely and can benefit many patients
  • Expert consensus white paper provided simple methods for converting an opioid to Methadone
  • Avoid complex prescription as far as possible (with many medication) to reduce the drug interaction with methadone

5. Session name: Palliative Care and Planetary Health in Humanitarian Settings

Mode: Virtual

Session Lead: Dr Mhoira Leng (Global Palliative Care Specialist Physician, Head, Palliative Care, Makerere University, Uganda and Medical Director of Cairdeas International Palliative Care Trust, Scotland), and Dr Savita Butola (Chief Medical Officer, Selection Grade, Border Security Force, Panisagar).

Other faculty from the session included:

  • Dr Liz Grant (Assistant Principal (President), University of Edinburgh),
  • Dr Vinod Chandra Menon (Regional Director Asia, The International Emergency Management Society (IEMS), Oslo),
  • Dr Sunitha Daniel (Specialist Medical Officer, NHM, General Hospital ,Ernakulam and PhD Student at Hull York Medical School, UK),
  • Dr Manju BK (Clinical Coordinator, Green Pasture Hospital, Nepal),
  • Dr Athul Joseph Manuel (Medical Officer, Department of Palliative Care, General Hospital Ernakulum),
  • Dr Chitra Venkateswaran (Professor and Head, Department of Psychiatry and Palliative Care at the Believers Church Medical College Hospital (BC MCH), Kerala),
  • Dr Kathryn Richardson (Palliative care specialist, Doctors without Borders and Pall CHASE),
  • Dr Meghan Doherty (Pedatric Palliative Care Consultant Physician, Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario, Program Director, Pediatric Palliative Care Fellowship Program, Two Worlds Cancer Collaboration Foundation, Canada),
  • Dr Omar Shamieh (Consultant & Chairman, Department of Palliative Care, Director, Center for Palliative and Cancer Care in conflict, The University of Jordan),
  • Mr Philip Amol (South Sudan),
  • Ms Joan Marston (Global Ambassador, International Children’s Palliative Care Network),
  • Mr Chris Smith (MPH Student and Public Health Researcher, UK), and
  • Fr Richard Bauer (Maryknoll Fathers and Brothers — Africa Region).

The 62 delegates at the workshop represented an assortment of Doctors, Nurses, Students, Officers from the Indian Armed Forces and Social Workers from across the globe (South Africa, America, Uganda, Mozambique, Gaza, Jordan, Canada, UK, Nepal and India).

The take home messages from the session included

  • Lessons on living well and dying well
  • A holistic approach to suffering in relation to global and environmental health
  • Education and training of the work force
  • Community involvement and meaningful engagement of stake holders

6. Session name: How Psychologists can bring their expertise to Palliative Care?

Mode: Virtual

Session Lead: Dr Jayita Deodhar (Professor, Dept of Palliative Medicine and Dept of Psychiatry & Psycho-oncology, Tata Memorial Hospital Mumbai).

Other Faculties included:

  • Dr. KV Ganpathy (CEO of ‘JASCAP’, an NGO associated with Tata Memorial Hospital Mumbai), and
  • Dr Sravannthi Maya (Psycho-Oncologist, Health and Counselling Psychology, The Rift).

The session was moderated and co-ordinated by Dr Arati Hota (Psycho-Oncologist, Head Dept. Of Psychology, Bhagwan Mahaveer Cancer Hospital and Research Center, Jaipur).

The enriching session was attended by 24 delegates most of who were psychologists. Some delegates were palliative care physicians.

The session covered Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT) techniques, how one could implement CBT techniques in pain, and Anxiety and Insomnia. The workshop had well structured discussions which covered each of the topics well. The sessions also extensively explored different cases and how one could apply CBT in palliative care setups.

Key Take home messages included:

  • Behind every negative thought there is always a protective factor we need to explore before going to intervention
  • To mitigate anxiety one must do a thorough inspection of the bio-psycho-social-spiritual-financial factors involved
  • Hone onto communication, as it is central to the administration of any psychological service

7. Session name: Ethics in Clinical practice and Research in Palliative Care

Mode: Virtual

Session Lead: Dr Anjum Khan Joad (Director, Anaesthesia and Palliative Care, Bhagwan Mahaveer Cancer Hospital and Research Centre, Jaipur).

Other faculty from the session included:

  • Dr. Santosh K. Chaturvedi (Leicestershire Partnership NHS Trust, Leicester, UK, formerly NIMHANS),
  • Dr Joris Gielen (Director, Center for Global Health Ethics, Duquesne University, Pittsburgh PA USA), and
  • Dr. Anjum Khan Joad.

The session had 20 participants, most of whom were doctors. The workshop aimed to facilitate and help palliative care practitioners take informed consent for research. The workshop covered the entire informed process, including documentation.

8. Session name: Pediatric Palliative Care

Mode: Virtual

Session Lead: Dr Pradnya Talawdekar (Project Coordinator, Children’s Palliative Care Project, Tata Memorial Hospital, Mumbai).

Other faculty at the session included:

  • Dr M.A. Muckaden (Professor, Tata Memorial Hospital, Mumbai),
  • Dr Soumitra Datta (Senior Consultant, Psychiatrist, Dept of Palliative Care & Psycho-Oncology, Tata Medical Center, Kolkata),
  • Dr Veronique Dinand (Consultant & Head, Palliative and Supportive Care, Bai Jerbai Wadia Hospital for Children, Mumbai),
  • Dr Vandana  Kumavat (Head, Dept of Pediatrics, Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Hospital, Kalwa, Thane),
  • Dr Ruchi Nanavati (Professor  Emeritus, Department of Neonatology, Seth GS Medical College & KEM Hospital, Mumbai),
  • Ms Joan Marston (Education and Development Consultant Palliative Care for Children and in Humanitarian crises),
  • Dr Pradnya Talawadekar (Project Coordinator, Children’s Palliative Care Project, Tata Memorial Hospital, Mumbai),
  • Dr Sushma Malik (Ex Head, Dept of Pediatrics, TNMC & B.Y.L. Nair Hospital, Mumbai), and
  • Ms Julia Downing (CEO, International Children’s Palliative Care Network).

The session was attended by 37 enthusiastic delegates which included 19 Doctors and 18 Nurses.

The interactive workshop began with a pre-test session. Nine topics which included Introduction to Childrens  Palliative Care, Communication in Pediatric Palliative Care, Assessment & Management of pain in children, Pediatric Palliative care in Neurological conditions, Neonatal Palliative Care, Pediatric Palliative care in Humanitarian situations, Psychosocial and spiritual aspects in Pediatric Palliative Care, Ethical issues in Pediatric Palliative Care, End-of-Life Care, were covered to provide delegates with a glimpse of Pediatric Palliative Care.

The key take away message from the workshop is as follows:

  • Consensus was reached that End of Life Policy for Children is the need of the hour and everyone needs to advocate for it.
    At the end of the session, one of the participants shared feedback saying, “Thanks for conducting such a resourceful workshop”.

9. Session name: EPEC-India Virtual Teaching Methodology Workshop

Mode: Virtual

Session Lead: Dr Naveen Salins (Professor and Head, Department of Palliative Medicine and Supportive Care, KMC Manipal, and Director, EPEC India program) and Dr Anuja Damani (Associate Professor, Department of Palliative Medicine and Supportive Care, KMC Manipal).

The other faculty from the session included:

  • Dr. Joshua Hauser (Associate Professor of Medicine and Medical Education and Palliative Medicine, Fellowship Director, Northwestern Feinberg School of Medicine, Section Chief, Palliative Medicine, Jesse Brown (Chicago) VA Medical Center), and
  • Dr. Gordon Wood (Associate Professor of Medicine and Medical Education, Northwestern Feinberg School of Medicine, Jesse Brown (Chicago) VA Medical Center).

The riveting session was attended by 25 delegates which included 20 Doctors and 5 Nurses.

The workshop encompassed sessions on 3 virtual teaching techniques – conducting virtual lectures, virtual case based discussions and virtual role plays, with hands-on practice sessions for the participants.
The Key takeaways from the session as below:

  • Virtual teaching techniques are an extremely resourceful method for palliative care training and education. They are especially important for the current economic and practical scenarios in the current pandemic situations.
  • Expertise in virtual teaching techniques can be achieved through right methods and continued practice.

The conference was inaugurated officially at the conference venue, the 300 bedded Bhagwan Mahaveer Cancer Hospital and Research Center (BMCHRC), Jaipur. 

The inauguration began with a rendition of Vande Mataram by Drs Akanksha Dutt, Soumi Chaudhuri and Deepshikha Jain, all Consultants, Anesthesia, BMCHRC.

The Chief Guest for the evening was Shri Vaibhav Galriya, Secretary, Department of Medical Education, Government of Rajasthan.

The other guests of honour to grace the inauguration included:

  • Shri Navrattan Kothari (Chairman, BMCHRC),
  • Smt. Anila Kothari (Senior Vice Chairperson, BMCHRC),
  • Shri Vimal Chand Surana (Managing Trustee, BMCHRC),
  • Dr. Prem Singh Lodha (Treasurer Trustee, BMCHRC),
  • Major General Dr. S.C.Pareek (Executive Director, BMCHRC),
  • Dr Sushma Bhatnagar (President, IAPC),
  • Dr. Anjum Khan Joad (Organizing Secretary, IAPCON 2022), and
  • Dr. Pushplata Gupta (Organizing Chairperson, IAPCON 2022).

All dignitaries participated in the ceremonial lighting of the lamp. Dr Atul Purohit, Director and HOD, Anaesthesia, Rukmini Birla Hospital Jaipur then rendered a melodious Hindi song.

On this occasion, the Chief Guest for the evening, Shri Vaibhav Galriya said “I have seen the pain and sufferings, and also the kind of comfort that palliative care can provide to such patients. As the Principal Secretary of Medical Education Department, Palliative Care is very relevant for me and it is also important for me to understand from practitioners about how to carry this sector forward. We will try to start MD, and DNB courses in Palliative Medicine in various government medical colleges”. He also congratulated BMCHRC for partnering with NHM to train doctors and nurses in Palliative Care in Rajasthan. “All our district hospitals will be developed as Medical colleges, and definitely we will start this activity (Palliative Care) in a much bigger way. We can certainly reserve some beds and we can definitely train a few doctors and nurses from each of these hospitals” said Dr Galriya while sharing future plans to develop palliative care in Rajasthan.

Dr Sushma Bhatnagar, President, IAPC, went on to share that “Medicine is incomplete without integrating the concept of palliative care in the continuum of care. We are unnecessarily filling our ICU beds with terminally ill patients who can be taken care of at their home. The National Program for Palliative Care provides dedicated funds to train Palliative Care Doctors and Nurses in District hospitals, PHCs, and CHCs.”

The inauguration concluded with a melodious rendition of the National Anthem and with momentos’ being distributed to dignitaries present at the event.

Video of the inaugural ceremony of the IAPCON 2022 is available Here

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