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Table of Contents  
Year : 2021  |  Volume : 15  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 1-3  

Tribute to the departed Tunisian and Arab legend of anesthesia: Professor mohamed allouche Dhahri

1 Department of Anesthesia and Intensive Care, Faculté de Médecine de Tunis, Université de Tunis El Manar, Tunis, Tunisia
2 Department of Anesthesia and Critical Care Medicine, Military Hospital of Tunis, Faculté de Médecine de Tunis, Université de Tunis El Manar, Tunis, Tunisia

Date of Submission03-Jul-2021
Date of Acceptance14-Jul-2021
Date of Web Publication30-Aug-2021

Correspondence Address:
Prof. Iheb Labbene
Department of Anesthesia and Critical Care Medicine, Military Hospital of Tunis; Faculté de Médecine de Tunis, Universite de Tunis El Manar, Tunis
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/aer.aer_93_21

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How to cite this article:
Ammar MS, Labbene I. Tribute to the departed Tunisian and Arab legend of anesthesia: Professor mohamed allouche Dhahri. Anesth Essays Res 2021;15:1-3

How to cite this URL:
Ammar MS, Labbene I. Tribute to the departed Tunisian and Arab legend of anesthesia: Professor mohamed allouche Dhahri. Anesth Essays Res [serial online] 2021 [cited 2022 Nov 28];15:1-3. Available from:

I am honored by this respected Journal (Anesthesia Essays and Researches) to write this tribute in the memory of Prof. Dhahri [Figure 1] who passed away on December 22, 2020, leaving behind a rich legacy in the field of acute medicine.
Figure 1: Prof. Mohamed Allouche Dhahiri (2010)

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Prof. Dhahri, a retired “Faculté de Médecine de Tunis” member, who spent decades teaching and conducting research in the field of Anesthesiology and Critical Care Medicine.

Dr. M. Dhahri was born on March 1, 1943, in Bahloula, near Gafsa in the southwest of Tunisia. He attended the primary schools of Gafsa and Tunis and the Khaznadar high school for his secondary studies.

He joined the Army and began his medical studies in France. He was a graduate of Lyon Claude Bernard University, France, in November 1974. He received a graduate certificate in Anesthesiology and Resuscitation in October 1976. He also received a graduate certificate from the same university in medical toxicology and nephrology in July 1974 and February 1980, respectively.

He returned in Tunisia in 1977 and worked as anesthesiologist and intensivit in the Military Hospital of Tunis. In 1981, he created the First Department of Anesthesiology and Intensive Care in Tunisia. This department was a compulsory internship for all residents of the specialty, and many of them created other department in all the hospitals of Tunisia.

Prof. Dhahri was a talented researcher and an award-winning teacher to countless students during his long career as Head of Department in the Military Hospital of Tunis but also at the university where he was Associate Professor since 1978, Associate Lecturer since 1984, and the First Full Professor in Anesthesiology and Intensive Care in Tunisia in 1991.

He was considered as father by Tunisian Anesthesiologists. He planned the professional career of his students and treated them as full collaborators despite their young age and their lack of experience. His office was always open to anesthesiologists and intensivists, and he helped them to continue their training in the best European hospitals.

During his career, he introduced in Tunisia a lot of new techniques in anesthesia and intensive care such as invasive hemodynamic monitoring and transesophageal echocardiography, hemofiltration, multimodal monitoring of neurotrauma, anesthesia monitoring and regional anesthesia. He also participated in the introduction of new anesthetic drugs at the end of the years 80 such as propofol, etomidate, atracurium, and isoflurane. The use of hemodiafiltration for acute kidney failure in a patient with septic shock was common at his department since 1990 and the introduction of new techniques such as the biofiltration with bicarbonate 84 ‰ in ICU, or conventional hemodialysis was a daily subject of discussion to provide the best care for his patients.

Through the resuscitation of brain death donor, he was the initiator of the first kidney transplant from a dead donor in Tunisia in 1992, the first heart transplantation on January 15, 1993, and the first combined pancreatic kidney transplant in our country in 1995.

He paved the way for many young doctors at university and was involved in the creation of a lot of individual departments in different Tunisian teaching hospitals.

He was a member of the scientific council of the Faculty of Medicine of Tunis and Head of the Department of Surgery B from 1986 to 1992 and the first President of the National College of Anesthesia and Intensive Care. He contributed to the training of young residents through the establishment of weekly teaching at the faculty since 1994 and introduced a new certificate of anesthesia and resuscitation to graduate students of the faculty. His interests also focused on the training of anesthesia technicians, our partners in the operating room, at the Higher School of Health Sciences and Techniques of Tunis.

The Tunisian Society of Anesthesia, Analgesia, and Critical Care Medicine was an important step in the life of Prof. Dhahri. In 1983, with a group of veteran doctors, Pr. Habib Skouri, Pr. Abdelmajid Daoud, Pr. Hedi Jegham, Dr. Moncef Ben Salah, and Dr. Rachid Kammoun, they founded the STAAR and Pr. Dhahri was the first president of this association. They started with scientific days, then an annual 3 days congress, and a lots of European doctors were invited to present lectures and to discuss advances in Anesthesia and Intensive Care.

Prof. Dhahri contributed with a lot of Arab Doctor, in the creation of the Pan Arab Federation of Societies of Anesthesia, Intensive Care and Pain Management and organize in 1989 the Third Pan Arab Congress of Anesthesia and Intensive Care in Tunis [Figure 2] and [Figure 3], which brought together more than 1000 Arab and European doctors. At the end of this congress, there was code of work written and declared that led to a series of developments in Anesthesia like encouraging initiation anesthesia national societies, creation of Arab Board of Anesthesia, committees and links with World Federation of Societies of Anesthesiologists. He also organized the First Pan Arab Congress on Emergency and Disaster Medicine in 1996.
Figure 2: Third Pan Arab Congress of Anesthesia and Intensive Care in Tunis (1989): Dr. D. Al Khudairi, Prof. M. Dhahiri, Prof. M. Seraj, Prof. H. Hijazi

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Figure 3: Third Pan Arab Congress of Anesthesia and Intensive Care in Tunis (1989): Prof. H. Hijazi, Prof. M. Dhahiri, Dr. M Al Kilani, Dr. D. Jazi

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In 1998, he created the First Master of emergency and disaster medicine at the university and he advocated for the development of a new specialty in Tunisia in the last years of the twentieth century: Emergency Medicine. He also created the first emergency plan of preparedness of the Military Hospital of Tunis in case of mass causality and proceed to multiple tests to evaluate the capacity of the emergency department to deal with an important number of injured victims.

In 1999, Prof. Dhahri was appointed General Director of Military Health. During 4 years, he upgraded the emergency system at the level of combat units and promoted military medicine by improving the quality of field hospitals to make them more efficient in civilian and military environments.

In 2001, the First Hyperbaric Oxygen Center was created in North Africa at the Military Hospital of Tunis, and it was able to take care of 16 patients at the same time. Prof. Dhahri Launched the Master of Hyperbaric Therapy to teach young doctors the basics of this therapy.

Prof. Dhahri's professional life was very successful at the hospital and university level. He created a school of anesthesia and intensive care which allowed many doctors to train and improve patient care in Tunisia and in many other countries. Rest in peace Prof. Dhahri, we will never forget you [Figure 4].
Figure 4: M. J. Hmida, M. Ferjani, M. A. Dhahri, R. Said, M. Alimi at the National Congress (2017)

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The academic and professional achievements of Prof. Dhahri will continue to make him a legend in Tunisia and the Arab world. His contribution in all aspects in the field of Anesthesia will be remembered for a long time with honor and great respect by the current generation of anesthesiologists and physicians and the generations that are yet to come.


  [Figure 1], [Figure 2], [Figure 3], [Figure 4]


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