Dr Emad Fawzy is a consultant anaesthetist at Sheikh Khalifa Medical City in Abu Dhabi. Before that he was a consultant in the UK. He completed his training and obtained CCT (London) in 2012. He has a specialist interest in medical device innovation and has won multiple awards including the innovation award for best medical technology in UK and AAGBI innovation award. He also has multiple granted international patents in the USA, EU, India and Japan.
JAP: As a specialist in anaesthesia, could you tell us more about your experience and training background in this field?
EF: I am fortunate to practice medicine in three continents. Currently I am a consultant anaesthetist in Sheikh Khalifa Medical city, Abu Dhabi. Before that I was a consultant in Queen Elizabeth Hospital Kings Lynn and lead clinician for the day surgery unit for a few years. I obtained my CCT from Southeast School of Anaesthesia, London, in 2012. I did my medical school training in Egypt, Alexandria University.
JAP: What drove you to choose anaesthesia as a career?
EF: Actually I didn’t know much about anaesthesia until I was an A&E SHO. I worked closely with anaesthetists and I came to realise that they are generally happy people, their intervention is crucial and the impact and outcome is almost immediate.
JAP: Over the past two years, it is clear that the healthcare industry has been greatly impacted by the pandemic, what has been the greatest impact within the anaesthesia industry?
EF: It highlighted an important fact, that anaesthetists are the last true generalists in the hospitals. They have the skills and knowledge that enable them to support almost all other medical specialties.
JAP: What’s the best part of your job?
EF: I get to see the results of my work very quickly. It gives me a diversity of skills and experiences in almost every medical speciality.
JAP: … and the worst?
EF: The lack of control sometimes.
JAP: What has been the highlight of your career so far?
EF: SAFIRA innovation.
JAP: Are you currently involved in any research?
EF: No – I am focusing now on supporting further development of SAFIRA.
JAP: As part of the team of clinical specialists behind the new regional anaesthesia device SAFIRA, can you tell us more about how you aim to introduce this new technology into clinical practice?
EF: It is already being used in different countries and the feedback that we had from clinicians all over the world has been amazing. We are also working to continue extending availability worldwide. SAFIRA is currently available through distributors in the US, UK, Europe, Australia and New Zealand. Further distributors are in the process of being appointed, for example in the Middle East, and product launches in additional countries are planned and in progress which will mean the device will be available to regional anaesthesia practitioners in 60+ countries.
Further additions to the SAFIRA system to give anaesthetists more choice and versatility have been developed and launched including an NRFit® syringe and a palm operator controller option (the system launched with a foot pedal operator).
JAP: How will this benefit patient experience and outcomes?
EF: I see SAFIRA as a game changer, it enables the anaesthetist to do a safer and more efficient block this is what we see so far from the clinical experience.
Anecdotal evidence from anaesthetists evaluating and using SAFIRA in clinical practice has not only confirmed the known benefits of SAFIRA but has also highlighted additional beneficial features of the system. Giving the anaesthetist control of the injection and making it a single operator procedure promotes patient safety, and the engineered-in safety mechanism helps reduce the risk of nerve damage from injection at high pressure. Clinicians using the technology have also reported additional benefits from the slow, controlled release of local anaesthetic and the need to use less local anaesthetic to achieve a successful block, reducing the risk of local systemic toxicity for patients. A multi-centre post market evaluation study is currently underway involving anaesthetists in the UK and Australia which should capture and validate data to support these additional reported aspects of the device.
JAP: Are you planning to attend any training events in 2022? Either online or in person
EF: Yes, I am planning to attend the ASA in the USA.
JAP: If you weren’t an anaesthetist what would you be?
EF: An economist.
JAP: What would you tell your 21-year-old self?
EF: Read a lot and don’t shy from being different or thinking different.
JAP: If you were Health Minister for the day what changes would you implement?
EF: I would never accept that position. The healthcare industry is going to be very challenging in the future with increasing population age, increasing demand and expectations adding to that the higher cost, shortage of healthcare professionals and using healthcare industry as a political tool, I can’t see how we can provide free excellent healthcare for everyone.
JAP: Away from the clinic and operating theatre – what do you do to relax?
EF: I play chess, jog and travel whenever I have a chance.
JAP: How do you think the future looks in the field of anaesthetics and patient experience and what are your predictions for the decade ahead?
EF: I think there will be shortage of healthcare professionals in general and anaesthetists in particular. Medicine will become less popular among clever and high achieving students.