Words of Welcome
Dear Colleagues,

Are medical gases still up to-date at the end of the 20th century? This is truly an intriguing question and considering the pharmaceutical market of the industrialised countries, you could come to the conclusion that medical gases are out of style and are more and more often replaced by intravenous drugs. A trend in the opposite direction, however, can be seen world-wide in less developed countries with a rapidly growing population a massive increase in use of volatile anaesthetics can been seen. The environmental impacts related to the use of intravenous drugs become more and more apparent and an increasing number of medical gases, partly at atypical applications, are diagnostically and therapeutically in daily clinical use.

In this context it should not be overlooked that oxygen itself, the preservation of which is our foremost ecological duty, represents the most important and most widely used medical gas in millionfold daily use, frequently in extreme situations.

The 3rd meeting of the International Society for Medical Gases (ISMG) plans a defining of the state of the art of medical gases at the end of the second millennium.

Therefore I would like to invite you very cordially to come to Heidelberg September 29th till October 1st 1999. The charming town of Heidelberg situated in the romantic Neckar Valley is home of the second oldest Medical Faculty in Europe, the German Cancer Research Centre (DKFZ), the Max-Plank-Institute for Medical Research and the European Molecular Biology Laboratories (EMBL). Thus romance and history meet new technologies in an intriguing way. I hope that this location and the planned topics are interesting to you and that I may welcome you to this 3rd Congress of the International Society for Medical Gases in our romantic city for a stimulating exchange of ideas.

Looking forward to seeing all of you in Heidelberg

Prof. Dr. Eike Martin FANZCA
Meeting President