First Bernhard Dräger Award for advanced treatment of acute
29 September 2008
The European Society for Intensive Care Medicine (ESICM) has awarded
the first ‘Bernhard Dräger Award for advanced treatment of acute
respiratory failure’ to Dr Hermann Heinze, from the Clinic for
Anesthesiology and Intensive Care Medicine at the Schleswig-Holstein
The research prize, which is worth €15,000 and was donated by Dräger,
was presented during the Society’s annual conference. Prof Dr V Marco
Ranieri, President of the ESICM, and Dr Daniel de Backer, Chairman of
the ESICM research committee, awarded the prize together with Frank
Ralfs, the leading product manager for respirators at Dräger.
This annual prize was created to support research projects relating
to intensive care medicine that are dedicated to the progressive
treatment of acute respiratory insufficiency. This year the focus was on
improving respiration therapy using non-invasive monitoring, and Dr
Heinze was awarded the prize to investigate the ’Functional residual
capacity guided alveolar recruitment strategy in patients with acute
respiratory failure after cardiac surgery’ over the next 12 months.
Dr Heinze will measure lung volumes in order to study the extent to
which managing so-called ‘recruitment manoeuvres’ can contribute towards
making ventilation more effective and cause fewer side effects.
Measuring lung volume at the bedside, the so-called functional
residual capacity (FRC), has only recently become possible without
needing considerable effort. By monitoring the FRC using electric
impedance tomography (EIT) for the first time, it should be possible to
carry out recruitment manoeuvres in a more targeted manner since this
technique provides a continuous, radiation-free and spatial depiction of
In addition, by analyzing inflammation mediators in blood, the
research project aims to prove that applied respiratory manoeuvres
provide a less harmful therapy.
This is important because inflammation in the lung, and other parts
of the body, is a widespread side-effect of ventilation and may be one
of the main causes of high mortality in patients with acute respiratory
The 36-year-old prize-winner Dr Hermann Heinze works in the
Anesthesiology Clinic at Lübeck University (headed by Prof Dr P
Schmucker). He will conduct the research project over the coming year
jointly with associate professor Dr Wolfgang Eichler.
According to Daniel de Backer, chairman of the research committee of
the ESICM, “The scientific committee of the ESICM chose this project as
it investigates promising, non-invasive approaches of respiratory
monitoring, which have the potential to significantly contribute to lung
Origin of the prize The prize is named after Dr Ing. h.c. Bernhard
Dräger (1870 – 1928), the son of company founder Heinrich Dräger. In
just 28 years, he and his father were awarded 261 German, 443 foreign
and 912 utility patents. Bernhard Dräger’s credo was ‘invention is an
act of imagination, the creation of something new’. The inventor was
also dedicated to science.
In 1893 he attended the Technical University in Berlin as a guest
student for two semesters to study kinematics, machine elements, tools,
and philosophy. This prize aims to help today’s inventors to dedicate
themselves to the advancement of clinical science.