WSACS - the Abdominal Compartment Society

WSACS Ambassadors

WSACS came to realize that expanding our network is essential to achieve our goals, and we have been looking for new ways to connect to all healthcare workers around the world. For this reason we appointed WSACS Ambassadors in different parts of the world. WSACS Ambassadors are IAH and ACS experienced and will assist WSACS to improve IAH and ACS knowledge in their country and region. We expect WSACS Ambassadors to

  • Promote the WSACS locally
  • Liaise with local surgical and critical care societies
  • Assist the WSACS in translating the latest WSACS guidelines
  • Stimulate participation in WSACS studies
  • Participate in WSACS activities

Please feel free to contact the WSACS Ambassador in your area if you have any question for them – use the email address provided.

Intra-Abdominal Hypertension

Despite increasing interest in intra-abdominal hypertension (IAH) and abdominal compartment syndrome (ACS) as causes of significant morbidity and mortality among the critically ill, unanswered questions cloud the understanding of the pathophysiology of these conditions:

  • Are IAH and ACS synonymous?
  • What are the ideal methods of measuring and lowering intra-abdominal pressure (IAP)?
  • When should we think of IAH?
  • Can IAH be prevented?
  • What level of IAP requires abdominal decompression?

WSACS Members receive 20% discount. The price will be updated if you login.

Buy Intra-Abdominal Hypertension

Membership benefits

Full access to World Congress video and slide presentations

  • Discounts on World Congress registration fees
  • Discounts on WSACS publications including Abdominal Compartment Syndrome
  • Clinical Trials Working Group (CTWG) membership and support for research proposals and funding
  • Late-breaking IAH/ACS news

Membership dues are 50 euros per year. Subscribe for a 2-year Membership and receive a discount.

Become a member!

National Institute for Clinical Excellence (NICE) publishes guidance document for open abdomen management

The UK NICE institute has updated its guidance document regarding open abdomen management.

Remarkably, the document discusses open abdominal wounds but fails to mention ‘abdominal compartment syndrome’ but only conditions often associated with it such as damage control surgery and abdominal sepsis. According to the document, several options to manage the open abdomen are available and negative pressure wound therapy is considered safe.

www.nice.org.uk

WSACS - the Abdominal Compartment Society

Welcome to the WSACS – the Abdominal Compartment Society.

Times are changing and so is our society! As the incidence of Abdominal Compartment Syndrome is dropping, and the challenges in these patients are changing, the Executive Committee decided to update the name of the “World Society of the Abdominal Compartment  Syndrome” to “WSACS – the Abdominal Compartment Society”. Expanding the focus of the Society to the different challenges in critically ill patients with abdominal catastrophes will allow us to continue our mission in the next decade and improve outcome in these patients.

WCACS2015: only 4 weeks away

Ghent, Belgium May 28-30, 2015

Dear colleague,

The bi-annual meeting of WSACS – the Abdominal Compartment Society is only 4 weeks away and preparations for the meeting are in full swing! The program has been finalized, the speakers are confirmed and this promises to be one of the best WCACS meetings so far! The abstracts have been evaluated and will be added to the program soon.

REGISTER TODAY!! Members of endorsing societies receive a 20% discount on the full registration price. Please check our website regularly for updates.

Scientific program
Below is a schematic overview of the sessions, for more details go to www.wsacs.org/wcacs2015/scientific-program .

May 28, 2015
Room: Refectory Room: Vermeylen
1:30 PM Opening session
2:30 PM Pro Con debate
3:30 PM Coffee break
4:00 PM Trauma (I) Hemodynamic mangement in IAH
5:10 PM Acute pancreatitis update IAH management in 2015
6:30 PM Welcome reception
May 29, 2015
Room: Refectory Room: Vermeylen
8:00 AM Massive ventral hernia and abdominal wall reconstruction (I) Acute GI injury
9:00 AM

Massive ventral hernia and abdominal wall reconstruction (II)

Abdominal compliance
10:00 AM Coffee break
10:30 AM Management of abdominal infections (I) Fluid resuscitation in shock
11:30 AM Management of abdominal infections (II) Mechanical ventilation in IAH
12:30 PM Lunch break
1:15 PM Industry sponsored session
2:15 PM Free papers session Free papers session
3:15 PM Surgical controversies Pro con debate
3:45 PM Coffee break
4:15 PM Trauma (II) Pediatrics
5:15 PM Vascular surgery Temporary abdominal closure
6:15 PM WSACS general assembly
May 30, 2015
Room: Refectory Room: Vermeylen
8:00 AM Fistula fear Nursing
9:05 AM Improving open abdomen management Perspectives in IAH management
10:00 AM Coffee break
10:30 AM Free papers session Free papers session
11:30 AM Clinical trials working group session
12:30 PM Lunch break
1:30 PM WSACS Ambassador session
2:30 PM State of the Art - Future perspectives
4:15 PM Meeting closure

Meet the WCACS2015 Faculty
We are delighted to see so many excellent speakers joining us in Ghent to discuss the latest topics in their field. Take a look at who they are and why you shouldn’t miss their lectures www.wsacs.org/wcacs2015/faculty .

IAH/ACS refresher course
On Thursday morning May 28th we will kick off with a half-day, intensive Refresher Course!! Get up to date on the basics of intra-abdominal hypertension and abdominal compartment syndrome – this is the perfect prelude to the 2015 WCACS meeting. This course requires a separate registration but has limited seats so book here today !

Opening reception – Thursday Evening
The opening reception will follow the scientific sessions on Thursday and is included in the registration for the meeting.

Congress Dinner – Friday Evening
On Friday evening the Bi-Annual WCACS Congress Dinner is not to be missed. We selected the ‘Oude Vismijn’ (‘The Old Fishmarket”) for what is always one of the highlights of the meeting. We will enjoy Belgian cuisine and I certain it will be a thing to remember. Be sure to add this to your registration – for only 30EUR this is a bargain! If you have already registered, contact us to add it to your registration.

For registration and practical information – visit www.wcacs2015.org today. If you have a question or need more information.

I look forward to welcoming you to Ghent!

Warm regards

Jan De Waele
WSACS president and WCACS2015 Convener.

Offline payment

Payment should be made within 14 days by money transfer only to the following account:

Account number: 734-0140973-41
Bank: KBC Bank
Bank address: Tiensesteenweg 117, B-3360 Korbeek-Lo, Belgium
BIC/Swift address: KREDBEBB
IBAN: BE88 7340 1409 7341
Account holder: “WSACS”
Address: Intensive Care Unit, ZNA campus Stuivenberg, Lange Beeldekensstraat 267, 2060 Antwerpen, Belgium

Reference: Use invoice number

WCACS2015 Ghent, May 28-30 - Scientific program now available

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Ghent, Belgium May 28-30, 2015

Scientific program now available

Submit your CTWG study proposal

Register today!

Dear colleague,

We would like to encourage you to come to Belgium and enjoy what will be one of the great meetings of 2015. There will be much for all. There will be general sessions for those less experienced in abdominal physiology, cutting edge research for the experts, and all sessions and dialogue will allow attendees to understand the future directions of care in the diverse aspects of care of severe abdominal conditions in the critically ill.

REGISTER TODAY!! Members of endorsing societies receive a 20% discount on the full registration price. Please check our website regularly for updates www.wcacs2015.org.
ESICM – the European Society of Intensive Care Medicine – and several other societies endorse WCACS2015. Members enjoy a 20% reduction in the registration fee.

Join us on Friday evening for the WCACS2015 Congress Dinner at a unique location, right in the city center and close to the venue and most hotels. It will be a unique occasion to meet your fellow WSACS members and get together in the legendary WSACS atmosphere, for a mere 30EUR!! You can register during the registration or contact us if you forgot to do so!

The program will focus on the following topics:

Contemporary intra-abdominal hypertension management
Treating Abdominal Compartment Syndrome (ACS) - when and how
Temporary abdominal closure - improving outcome
Inflammation and abdominal disease
Fluid resuscitation and monitoring
Abdominal wall reconstruction
Nutrition and the abdomen
Abdominal trauma - how to eradicate ACS
Diagnosis and management of abdominal infections

The scientific program can be found on here.

We hope to see you in Ghent!

Warm regards

Jan De Waele
WSACS president and WCACS2015 Convener.

WSACS IAH and ACS Refresher Course
On Thursday morning WSACS will organize a half-day, focused IAH and ACS Refresher Course for those who are new to IAH and ACS, and those who want a concise update of the basics. An excellent introduction for the main WCACS2015 meeting!! Registration for the main meeting is mandatory - the Referesher Course can be booked when registering.
Clinical Trials Working Group – call for study proposals!

In the past, WSACS has been endorsing several studies on the field of intra-abdominal hypertension and abdominal compartment syndrome and resulting in important and well-cited publications.

Now with widening our horizon to all aspects of abdominal compartment, we are re-launching the process of endorsing selected studies.

The first possibility to present your study proposal will be already end of May 2015 in Ghent. Two to three selected best study proposals will be shortly presented by the authors at the World Congress of Abdominal Compartment Society during the Clinical Trials Working Group (CTWG) Session on 30th of May 2015. One to two best study proposals will be thereafter selected for WSACS endorsement. Experimental, pathophysiological and clinical studies dealing with any aspect of abdominal compartment will be considered for selection.
Please send us synopsis of your study proposal by the end of April 2015. Please describe specific background, hypothesis, objectives, study endpoint and methods. With sending us your proposal you will opt for new ideas, support and participants for your study as well as contribute to development of the CTWG.

The best proposals selected for presentation will be announced by 10th of May 2015.

Abstract submission is closed – more than 70 abstracts have been submitted
Abstract submission has been closed. We thank everybody who has submitted an abstract for their efforts. The free paper presentation and poster presentation sessions are being finalized. Final decisions on abstract acceptance have been sent out – please contact us if you have any questions, email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
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2013 - Cartagena

DAY ONE: MAY 23, 2013 THURSDAY 

8:00 Evidence based guidelines in IAH & ACS: an update   Andy Kirkpatrick
8:45 Hemodynamic optimization in IAH   Jan DeWaele
10:00 IAH & ACS: Definitions   Andy Kirkpatrick
10:25 Risk Factors for IAH - Annika Reintam Blaser
10:50 IAP measurement techniques   Michael Sugrue
11:15 Medical Management of IAH   Inneke De Laet
11:40 Case Presentation I   Mark Kaplan, Scott D’Amours (Michael Sugrue Moderator)
12:20 Case Presentation II - Annika Reintam, Inneke De Laet
RESUSCITATION AND SURGERY
14:00 Resuscitation end points   Juan Duchesne 
14:25 Pitfalls in resuscitation   Jan DeWaele
14:50 Surgical decompression for IAH   Oswaldo Borreaz
15:15 Damage Control Laparotomy, Temporary fascial closure   Carlos Ordnez
16:10 Newer concepts in open abdomen management, VAC therapy   Mark Kaplan 
16:35 Minimally invasive decompressive laparotomy   Ari Leppaniemi
17:00 17:40 Case Presentation III Part 1
Case Presentation III Part 2
  Juan Duchsene, Ari Leppaniemi, (Manu Malbrain, moderator)
       

DAY TWO: May 24, 2013 FRIDAY

8:00 Evidence of Massive Transfusion in Trauma. When? What? How? Are there other alternatives?   Rao Ivatury
10:00 IAH & ACS in children   Janeth Ejike
10:30 IAH & ACS in Medical ICU   Jan De Waele
11:00 IAH & ACS in vascular surgery   Martin Bjorck
11:30 IAH & ACS in pregnancy   Ed Kimball
12:00 Presidential address   Rao Ivatury 
       

DAY THREE: MAY 25, 2013 SATURDAY

9:00 Acute pancreatitis: an update   Inneke De Laet
9:15 Source control in sepsis   Jan DeWaele
9:30 Open abdomen in the septic abdomen   Pablo Sibaja
9:45 Early Enteral Nutrition - Annika Reintam Blaser
10:00 Delayed fluid removal   Manu Malbrain
10:35 Case Presentation IV   Janeth Ejike, Martin Bjorck (Rao Ivatury, Moderator)
11:15 Case Presentation V   Michael Sugrue, Pablo Sibaja (Ari Leppeniemi, moderator)
16:30 Tertiary Peritonitis - Ari Leppeniemi
17:00 Acute gastrointestinal injury   Annika Reintam Blaser
17:30 Necrotizing ICU infections   Ed Kimball

WCACS2015 Ghent, May 28-30 - Early bird registration deadline March 1, 2015

Ghent, Belgium May 28-30, 2015

Early bird registration deadline March 1, 2015

Do you want to benefit from the discounted early bird registration for WCACS 2015? Register today!!

We would like to encourage you to come to Belgium and enjoy what will be one of the great meetings of 2015. There will be much for all.  There will be general sessions for those less experienced in abdominal physiology, cutting edge research for the experts, and all sessions and dialogue will allow attendees to understand the future directions of care in the diverse aspects of care of severe abdominal conditions in the critically ill.

The scientific program can be found on here.

We hope to see you in Ghent!

Warm regards

Jan De Waele
WSACS president and WCACS2015 Convener.

Meeting topics will include…

Contemporary intra-abdominal hypertension management
Treating Abdominal Compartment Syndrome (ACS) - when and how
Temporary abdominal closure - improving outcome
Inflammation and abdominal disease
Fluid resuscitation and monitoring
Abdominal wall reconstruction
Nutrition and the abdomen
Abdominal trauma - how to eradicate ACS
Diagnosis and management of abdominal infections
WSACS IAH and ACS Refresher Course
On Thursday morning WSACS will organize a half-day, focused IAH and ACS Refresher Course for those who are new to IAH and ACS, and those who want a concise update of the basics. An excellent introduction for the main WCACS2015 meeting!! Registration for the main meeting is mandatory - the Referesher Course can be booked when registering.
Endorsing societies members get a 20% discount

Members of endorsing societies receive a 20% discount on the full registration price. Please check our website regularly for updates www.wcacs2015.org.
Endorsing societies include:

Join us in Ghent for one of the most exciting meetings of the year!

 

Contact

Membership

Click on the "Join WSACS" link above to begin the membership application. For all other questions regarding WSACS membership, please contact the Membership Committee.

Society Office

Mail to the WSACS may be addressed to:

Rao R. Ivatury MD, Division Chair
Division of Trauma, Critical Care and Emergency General Surgery
P.O. Box 980454
Richmond, VA 23298-0454
USA

For questions regarding the WSACS and its mission, please contact the WSACS Executive Committee.

Industry Sponsors

The WSACS greatly appreciates the sponsorship of our partners in the healthcare industry. For information on corporate support of WSACS's educational programs and scientific congresses, please contact our Preferred Partners Program.

Website

This website is intended to facilitate the goals and mission of the WSACS. We appreciate any suggestions you might have on ways by which we can make this website serve you better. Please feel free to contact the WSACS webmaster with any questions or recommendations.

WSACS IAH/ACS Self Learning Packet

WSACS Education Slidesets

The WSACS has recently published an updated consens us statements detailing the current state-of-the-art diagnosis and management of IAH / ACS. The following Powerpoint slideset summarizes the definitions and recommendations of these consensus  statements. It may be viewed online or downloaded to be used in educating the physicians a nd nurses in your hospital about IAH and ACS.

2013 Guidelines slide set

What is the WSACS?

The World Society of the Abdominal Compartment Syndrome (WSACS) was founded in 2004 by a group of international physicians and surgeons who recognized the need for a cohesive approach to promoting research, fostering education, and improving the survival of patients with intra-abdominal hypertension (IAH) and/or abdominal compartment syndrome (ACS). While it remains a fledging society, the WSACS has arguably accomplished a great deal in its first three years including the development of evidence-based medicine consensus definitions and recommendations statements, publication of the first textbook on ACS as well as a monograph of cutting-edge research findings, and development of a worldwide network of clinicians and research scientists.

WCACS2013 14

WSACS executive committe meeting (Jan De Waele, Andy Kirkpatrick, Rao Ivatury, Manu Malbrain, Martin Bjorck, Ari Leppaniemi, Michael Sugrue, Annika Reintam and Scott d'Amours)

The patient care algorithms and guidelines promoted by the WSACS have been demonstrated to significantly improve patient survival from IAH and ACS, disease processes that were widely reported to have mortality rates of up to 100% only a decade ago.

The WSACS encourages all healthcare providers with an interest in IAH/ACS to become WSACS members and further the Society's mission to foster education and improve patient survival. This website contains a variety of educational materials as well as discussion forums and email listservers to aid in this mission. Please feel free to contact us with any questions or suggestions that you might have.

2015 WSACS Executive Committee

Andy Kirkpatrick Calgary, Canda President and Chairman
Jan De Waele Ghent, Belgium Past President
Inneke de Laet Antwerp, Belgium Secretary
Manu Malbrain Antwerp, Belgium Treasurer
Bart de keulenaer Fremantle, Australia  
Scott D'Amours Sidney, Australia Scientific Program Chair
Martin Bjorck Sweden  
Zsolt Balogh Newcastle, Australia  
Ari Leppaniemi Helsinki, Finland  
Mark Kaplan philadelphia, USA  
Janeth Chiaka Ejike California, USA  
Annika Reintam Blaser Estonia CTWG Chair
Michael Sugrue Letterkenny, Ireland  

Information for Patients and Families

Intra-abdominal hypertension (IAH) and abdominal compartment syndrome (ACS) are complex diseases that are common among patients who are critically ill or injured. If either you or someone you love has been diagnosed with either IAH or ACS, this is no doubt a very stressful time for you and your family. You likely have many questions. We encourage you to speak with your physicians and nurses regarding your current illness as they are best equipped to answer questions related to your specific situation. We hope that the following will help to augment the information you receive from your healthcare providers.

Most patients with IAH and/or ACS will be cared for in an intensive care unit (ICU) where doctors and nurses constantly watch ("monitor") for signs of illness and treat ("resuscitate") patients to keep their heart, lungs, kidneys, liver, and intestines functioning as normally as possible. Many patients will require a breathing machine ("mechanical ventilator") to help them breath and receive enough oxygen. They will receive medications for pain and to keep them calm. They will also receive medications such as antibiotics and blood pressure medications to help them heal.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • What is intra-abdominal pressure (IAP)?

    IAP is the pressure within the abdomen. This pressure is normally very low, but can be increased during illness and injury due to swelling or internal bleeding. IAP may be measured in a variety of ways, but is most commonly measured using the catheter that is already present in the patient's bladder to collect urine. As a result, IAP is commonly referred to as the "bladder pressure".
  • What is Intra-Abdominal Hypertension (IAH)?

    IAH is an increase in the normal pressure within the abdomen that can cause a patient's heart, lungs, kidneys, liver, and intestines to become sick and not function properly.
  • What is Abdominal Compartment Syndrome (ACS)

    ACS is a severe increase in the pressure within the abdomen ("intra-abdominal pressure" or IAP) such that a patient's internal organs begin to fail and malfunction. This is a medical emergency. Untreated, ACS has a high mortality rate. There are a number of different methods that your doctors may use to treat the ACS. These may include giving medications to sedate or temporarily paralyze you or your loved one, placing tubes through the nose and into the stomach to remove fluid and air, placing tubes into the abdomen to remove fluid or blood, or opening the abdomen to release the increased pressure.
  • What is an "open abdomen"?

    An operation where your doctor makes a large incision (cut) in your abdomen (belly) and leaves this incision open to relieve the high pressure that is preventing your organs from working properly. You will need another operation (or sometimes many) to close this incision when you are no longer sick. While your abdomen is "open" in the hospital, you will have a special covering to protect your organs. This operation is also known as "abdominal decompression".
  • Why is an open abdomen necessary?

    Organ failure, such as your heart, lungs or kidneys not working properly, is the most common cause of death in the intensive care unit (ICU). Your doctors and nurses will do everything possible to prevent your organs from failing. If all other therapies fail, however, opening your abdomen may be the only way to save your life.
  • How can I tell whether my abdomen is "open" or "closed"?

    To close an open abdomen, your surgeon will sew both the skin AND muscles of your abdominal wall back together. Your abdomen is considered "closed" when BOTH layers of the abdomen have been repaired. You may, however, be too sick to close both layers at the same time. If this is so, your surgeon may sew only your skin together (called a "skin-only" closure) leaving your muscles apart to keep the pressure in your abdomen low. If this is not possible, your surgeon will take a piece of your skin (usually from the thigh) and place this over your organs (called a "skin graft" closure). In either case, you will have a hernia (a large bulge in your belly) until your surgeon feels you are ready to have another operation to close the muscle layer as well. While you have a hernia, you will need to follow the activity restrictions given to you by your surgeon. You may also need to wear an abdominal "binder" or "belt" to support your abdominal wall. Until both the skin and muscles of your abdominal wall have been sewn together, your doctors will consider your abdomen as being "open".
  • Why do I have an open abdomen?

    Because you are/were so sick, your doctor had to open your abdomen to save your life and prevent organ failure. In most patients, an open abdomen is temporary and your abdomen should be able to be closed in the near future.
  • "When will my abdomen be closed?"

    Your abdomen will be closed as soon as you have recovered from your injury or illness. In most patients, this will be within a week or two. You may need several operations to close your abdomen depending upon how sick you are. If you are seriously ill orinjured, you may not be able to have your abdomen closed right away and may need an operation to temporarily cover the abdomen with skin (either a "skin graft" or "skin-only" closure). You will then need to go home and recover for 3 to 12 months before you can have another operation to close your abdomen permanently.
  • Can I work or go to school with my abdomen open?

    Depending on what type of work you normally do, you may be able to work while your abdomen is open. You will not be able to lift heavy objects until your abdomen is closed. Your doctor will talk with you about your work and school restrictions. Once your abdomen is closed, you should be able to resume your usual activities.
  • Is it normal for my abdomen to hurt when I move?

    Occasional crampy pain is common in the months following surgery. This will resolve over time. If the pain worsens, or you begin having nausea, vomiting, or fever, you should notify your doctor immediately.
  • Will my abdomen always look like this?

    In most patients, an open abdomen is temporary. Once you have recovered from your initial injury or illness, your surgeon will begin plans to close your abdomen.

Important Issues If You Have An Open Abdomen

You should always follow the instructions and advice of your surgeon and other physicians. The following recommendations apply to most patients with an open abdomen.

  • You should exercise everyday. Walking is best.
  • Do not lift weights or perform strenuous exercise without checking with your doctor first.
  • Eat a balanced, healthy diet and avoid excessive weight gain. If you gain too much weight, you may not be able to have your abdomen closed. Regular exercise and a low-fat diet are the best way to avoid gaining too much weight.
  • Don't be surprised if you get tired easily. Your body is healing and needs lots of rest. It may take up to a year to regain your normal strength.
  • Be sure to follow-up regularly with your surgeon and follow his or her instructions.
  • Follow all of the instructions provided by your physician or nurse.

The World Society of the Abdominal Compartment Syndrome (WSACS) was founded in 2004 to promote research, foster education, and improve the survival of patients with intra-abdominal hypertension (IAH) and/or abdominal compartment syndrome (ACS). The WSACS is a non-profit organization whose educational efforts are dependent upon philantrophic educational grants from our industry partners as well as donations from patients, families, and others. The WSACS greatly appreciates the generous financial assistance of its partners without whose help the mission of the WSACS could not occur.

If you or your family has been impacted by IAH/ACS and would like to partner with the WSACS to improve the diagnosis and management of IAH/ACS, please contact the WSACS Executive Committee. All donations to the WSACS are tax-deductible to the full extent allowable by law. Complete documentation of your donation to the WSACS will be provided for such purposes. Donations may also be made in the name of a family member or that of physicians and nurses whom you would like to see recognized for their dedication to patient care.

Please contact the WSACS Executive Committee for further information regarding philanthropic donations to the Society.

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