Respiratory critical care

Programme highlight

The field of respiratory critical care has progressed considerably in recent years, with important technological advances, improvements in pharmacotherapy and new or improved monitoring systems all supporting the development of the field.

The ERS International Congress programme includes a dedicated respiratory critical care track that has been developed by experts in the field. The track includes a variety of activities for health professionals who are involved in the management of patients in critical care and for researchers with an interest in this disease area.

View all sessions in the respiratory critical care track

Hear from the ERS Respiratory intensive care assembly

We spoke to ERS officers who specialise in respiratory critical care to find out what you can expect from the hybrid Congress and which programme highlights should not be missed. See what they told us:


Leo Heunks – Head

Q: What are you most looking forward to at this year’s Congress in the respiratory critical care field?

A: First of all, I am very much looking forward to meeting my colleagues from around the globe face-to-face again. Although we could talk online, nothing is better than meeting in person. This is important to extend your clinical and research network. Also, I am looking forward to discussing new work presented at the oral presentation sessions and posters. The ERS has once again received so many outstanding abstracts presenting original science that I am looking forward to discussing with my colleagues. I also look forward listening to my colleagues in the larger symposia and being updated on the fields that are not within my direct expertise, such as interstitial lung disease and pulmonary hypertension.

Q: Is there a specific session in this track that should not be missed?

A: On the Monday morning of Congress, there is a joint session with ERS/Lancet that will discuss “ARDS: the path to precision medicine”. Outstanding studies have been published that provide new insights in the pathophysiology of ARDS and that will guide future therapies. This is really important as severe ARDS still has very high mortality. Different groups have published outstanding manuscripts that will be presented in this session. Hopefully we are getting closer to personalised treatment of ARDS. I am eager to hear from these outstanding speakers about what the future of ARDS management looks like.

joao carlos

João Carlos Winck – Secretary

Q: What do you think will be the popular topics in the respiratory critical care field at this year’s Congress, and what will be a highlight for you?

In the Pre-Congress Content I would highlight “The European Respiratory Society Guidelines on the Management of Hospitalized Patients with COVID-19”. On 5 September, there is a Symposium on ‘Treatment of acute respiratory failure in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease patients’ , and a Journal session about ‘Acute respiratory distress syndrome: the path to precision medicine (a joint ERS/Lancet session)’. In this important Journal session the most recent papers commissioned by The Lancet Respiratory Medicine will be discussed, to provide insights into the pathophysiology and phenotypes of acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS).

Finally, I would recommend the Clinical cases session: ‘Lungs on fire: Respiratory critical care / Sleep and Breathing disorders’, led by Leo Heunks and Marieke Duiverman.

Maxime Patout

Maxime Patout – Early-career representative

Q: What does Congress offer to early career professionals who specialise in respiratory critical care?

A: The Congress is a unique opportunity for early career professionals to attend state-of-the-art sessions on acute and chronic respiratory failure. The Congress will allow early career to interact easily with leaders in acute and chronic respiratory failure thanks to the hybrid format of the event.

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View all ERS Congress programme highlights

Learn more about the ERS Respiratory intensive care assembly