Exclusive: BSIR leadership discusses 2020 programme highlights and IR rising to the challenge of COVID-19

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On the opening day of BSIR 2020 (1–3 December, virtual), Lakshmi Ratnam (London, UK), chair of the scientific programme committee, moderates a special Interventional News panel with BSIR president, Ian McCafferty (Birmingham, UK), and vice-president, Philip Haslam (Newcastle, UK).

McCafferty outlines some of the highlights from this year’s programme, which he notes contains a “nice balance between vascular and non-vascular interventional oncology subjects”, adding that he is particularly excited about the lymphatic session.

McCafferty discusses how interventional radiology (IR) has “risen to the challenge” of COVID-19 with the strong message that interventional radiologists have “helped maintain activities in the hospital more than any other group” during the COVID-19 pandemic. He points out that the BSIR has worked closely with the Royal College of Radiologists (RCR), so that interventional radiology could continue to perform procedures throughout lockdown, while the majority of surgery was put on pause. Those interventional radiology departments with their own day case units were the most efficient, he notes, making the point that quick outpatient-style treatment by interventional radiologists is really possible, extremely cost-effective, [generally has] low-morbidity, and is often preferred by patients. Indeed, vitally, it can be carried out in “cold” COVID-free environments outside of the hospital setting.

Haslam, commenting on the symbiotic relationship that industry and many device-using specialties share, states that the BSIR has continued to work closely and collaborate with industry partners to bring about a high-quality virtual event with impactful and useful education. Haslam hopes that COVID-19 will soon “be a thing of the dim and distant past”, which will allow for “a brilliant face-to-face meeting” in Glasgow for BSIR 2021.


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