ECPB - How it all began
Between 1975 and 1985 the therapy of burned children experienced an important change. The principles of early excision and immediate grafting (Burke 1976) led to a more aggressive surgical approach. Nevertheless, standards of care were inexistent and insecurity of how to best treat burned children remained. As most surgeons treating burned children shared this feeling of uncertainty, it was only a matter of time until a forum would be founded in which specific problems of burned children could be discussed openly.
It was Martin Meuli who first pronounced his idea of creating such a forum.
After the international congress for burns in children in 1991, Martin Meuli took three colleagues to Val Fex at Sils-Maria in the heart of the Swiss mountains: Anna Maria Tamisani from Genova, Giovanni Grisolia from Florence and Helmut Lochbuehler from Munich. During this weekend in September 1991, Martin presented his idea to gather a group of people who were interested in the therapy of burned children. The aim should be to promote a regular exchange of personal experience and to create standards of therapy. This was the founding hour of the "Club".
The idea was not to have a new “association” of whatever kind. We did not want to have an organisation with an administration and complicated formalities that is why we called it a “Club”. And because we were in the heart of Europe and originating from three different European countries we decided that European Club of Paediatric Burns was the adequate name of our baby. After some discussions we wrote down the statutes for the ECPB, minor revisions followed in 1995 and 1996; the meetings should have an informal character, so the idea of workshops was born. In 1992 we met again at Viareggio (not too far from Florence), Giovanni organized the meeting. In a hotel room the four of us discussed what we thought could be the basics of therapy for burned children and the foundation document was signed. This meeting was followed by a workshop in Munich in 1993, where the tradition was established that nurses and physiotherapists should be an essential part of the workshops. This should demonstrate that burn surgery is teamwork.
In 1994 it was Anna Maria Tamisani’s turn to organize a meeting, which took place in Camogli, near Genova. From this workshop on, the number of participants grew and a series of groundbreaking meetings started.
The "European Club for Paediatric Burns" was founded on 7 September 1991 by:
- Giovanni Andrea Grisolia, Florence, Italy
- Helmut Lochbuhler, Munich, Germany
- Martin Meuli, Zurich, Switzerland
- Anna Maria Tamisani, Genoa, Italy