Medical Field: Intensive Care Medicine and Anesthesiology
Award: Finalist
Country: Hungary
Year: 2021
Research Work: Ipsilateral and Simultaneous Comparison of Responses from Acceleromyography- and Electromyography-based Neuromuscular Monitors
Published in: Anesthesiology


The nomination is a fantastic reward for all our long work.


Réka Nemes, MD, PhD, is a finalist in the field of Intensive care medicine and Anesthesiology. She works as a consultant in anesthesiology and intensive care in the Department of Anesthesiology and Intensive Care at the University of Debrecen in Hungary. She believes that recognition of her research can help raise awareness of patient safety issues.

There are many surgeries that require partial or complete muscle relaxation. To achieve this, anesthesiologists give patients medications called muscle relaxants. The effects of these drugs must be monitored to ensure that they are reversed at the end of the operation, so that the patient can breathe normally and there are no complications. Réka Nemes, MD, PhD, and her research team have made it their mission to raise awareness about the proper use of muscle relaxants and the need to monitor them.

To this end, special devices called neuromuscular monitors have been developed. These monitors use different technologies to measure and describe patients' muscle function during surgeries. The previous generation of these monitors were often difficult to use and anesthesiologists had to make several time-consuming arrangements to obtain reliable measurements with them. These features made these devices unpopular and hindered their widespread use. Therefore, medical device manufacturers needed to develop more user-friendly and reliable solutions.

In the study, Nemes and her team compared a new electromyography-based monitor with an old acceleromyography-based monitor. The new monitor measured the electrical activity of the muscle, while the old monitor described muscle function by monitoring thumb movement. They conducted a comparative study in a special environment. The two monitors were connected by a fibre optic link so that the two devices could be synchronised. This allowed them to monitor the function of a hand muscle with the two devices simultaneously.

Our results showed that the new monitor was a better indicator of adequate muscle recovery at the end of the surgeries. The measurements with the new monitor were more consistent, showing less variation with the new device. The difference in measurements between the two devices was consistent with previous studies comparing similar technologies. Nevertheless, our study also revealed a weakness in the new devices that requires further attention. Hopefully, the new user-friendly monitor will help spread monitoring in the future and further improve patient safety.

Research work can often lead to late nights, but Réka Nemes, MD, PhD, says she never gets bored and that it helps her avoid burnout. In addition to her clinical work, she does research every day, which can be exhausting and requires a lot of patience from her family. But through it all, she always makes time for her husband and friends. She loves to hike or read historical novels.