Professor Krister Nilsson 1944-2021
We are deeply sorry to announce that our dear friend, Professor Krister Nilsson passed away during the Easter weekend 2021 after a short period of illness.
Krister was an important member of the community of paediatric anaesthesiologists nationally and internationally. He belonged to the second generation of anesthesiologists in Sweden working exclusively with children. With his excellent clinical practice and experience in basic science he became one of those who built bridges to a more scientific future.
Born and raised in Stockholm Krister Nilsson moved to Gothenburg to study medicine. Here he stayed together with his wife Ulla for the rest of his life. Together they had two children.
Already as a student Krister was engaged in research. His main field of interest was the transportation of heat in tissues. This training in basic science became very advantageous in his anaesthetic work.
Krister trained at the Sahlgrenska University Hospital and moved in 1976 to the Children`s Hospital. He learned quickly and thoroughly. Soon he was appointed head of anaesthesia in the theatres and he also worked regularly in the PICU. He was very active when such demanding procedures as open heart and transplantation surgery were introduced, but he never lost his interest in the small surgery and the comfort of the patients in general. Thus he was happy to give advice when a clinical training center was created in the hospital. He was also interested in the equipment and could fix most problems with suitable tools at hand.
Krister was an excellent and generous teacher. Under his leadership much scientific work was done and many thesis defended. They all approached important clinical questions dealing with many fields such as fluid therapy, heat regulation and airway problems. Krister Nilsson was also engaged in scientific journals e.g as co-editor in the Acta Anaesthesiologica Scandinavica for a decade.
Krister Nilsson understood the importance of exchanging ideas and experiences with others. As a member of the APAGBI he participated regularly and actively in the annual and overseas meetings. In 2011 he was appointed honorary member of the APAGBI.
In the FEAPA Krister was a reliable supporter happy to contribute not only at meetings, where he took a great responsibility in creating the scientific programmes, but also in the background work, as a long-time member of the Executive Committe. At the transmission of the FEAPA to ESPA Krister was ready to help and facilitate. When the Swedish society was started Krister also gave his enthusiastic support. Perhaps his modesty sometimes obscured the extent of his contributions.
While Krister Nilsson was reliable, competent and hard working, he was also a friendly person, always prepared for a meaningful conversation or a good chat. Then one might also get a glimpse of the adventurer behind the strict surface, e.g. the fascination for motorbiking and sailing in hard weather.
All his life Krister kept his youthful appearance, quick movements and intellectual capacity. During later years he often talked about how happy he was that he had been given the opportunity to work during such a dynamic time in the field of anaesthesiology. He was also happy to have made friends with so many colleagues all over the world.
It is a great loss that Krister Nilsson is no longer among us, but he leaves a good and bright memory.
Lars E. Larsson