In memoriam Dr Antoine Rabbat
Dr Antoine Rabbat died on February 14, 2018. A brutal end, a terrible accident. At the time he left us, he was going to Cochin Hospital in Paris, where he worked.
Antoine Rabbat graduated in 1990–1991 as a pulmonary physician and an intensivist. He then joined the intensive care unit of Saint Louis Hospital in Paris as an assistant, before taking the lead of the ICU of Paris’ Hôtel-Dieu Hospital, an ICU that was part of a Respiratory Department led by Prof. Jacques Rochemaure. In Saint Louis Hospital, he began developing a strong expertise in the area of severe respiratory events in immunocompromised hosts. In Hôtel-Dieu, he further increased his skills in this field and in non-invasive ventilation, of which he was one of the pilot users and developers. In the late 1990s/early 2000s, Professor Gérard Huchon became the new head of the Department. Almost simultaneously, a rapidly growing thoracic surgery department led by Prof. Jean-François Régnard arrived in the hospital, and Antoine quickly developed an expertise in the care for post-operative complications in complex thoracic patients. During his career, Antoine was also involved in the care of patients with pulmonary hypertension and with acute and chronic respiratory failure at large.
In addition to his clinical tasks, Antoine was heavily involved in research, teaching, and hospital management. He authored more than 100 papers in peer-reviewed journals. He also actively participated in national and international scientific societies of respiratory and intensive care medicine, and in research groups, especially including the GRRR-OH, a research group on respiratory complications in oncology and hematology. All his students will remember his teaching. He could be demanding, but also believed in companionship as a crucial way of learning. He was appointed by Paris Descartes University and contributed to many teaching courses and degrees in intensive, emergency and respiratory medicine. He directed many theses with a lot of rigor but also with a lot of motivating friendship. He was continuously involved in several managing committees of the hospital, including those dealing with continuity of care, nosocomial infections and hygiene, and surveillance of accidents related to transfusions or medical materials.
Antoine spent his life developing his skills and offering them to his patients, his students and his collaborators. He always had one absolute priority: improving the care for the patients of the intensive care unit he had developed. The move of this unit from Hôtel-Dieu to Cochin Hospital was the beginning of a challenging period: the new environment of the Respiratory ICU was more constrained and had a different history. But Antoine remained dedicated at protecting and defending what he believed was right for those who relied on him, those who lived and died in his unit and their close relatives. He was smart, strong, proud, sometimes tough, often kind, always dedicated. Many saw him as a rock. Most importantly, humanity was the heart of his personality and the leading guide of his beliefs and his actions. Above all, he was attached to liberty and excellence, and communicated this faith to all those who worked with him.