Preoperative Fasting for Elective Surgery in a Regional Hospital in Oman

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Abstract

Background:
A fasting period before anesthesia is necessary to avoid the aspiration of stomach contents, which can be threatening to the patient's life. Guidelines from professional societies in the USA and UK recommend that healthy patients fast for 6 hours from solid food and 2 hours from liquids. Despite this, many institutions still practice nil-by-mouth after midnight. This can affect the patient's recovery after surgery, and increase the length of stay in hospital. The aim of this study was to assess the duration of fasting before elective surgery on the part of adult patients.

Methods:
A prospective study was conducted to identify the fasting time and complications among surgical patients undergoing elective surgery over a 4-month period. The patients were asked for preoperative fasting times, and the complication. The demographic data were taken from the patients' files.

Result:
A total of 169 patients were included in the study, 88 male and 81 female. The minimum and maximum fasting hours with regard to food were 7 hours and 19 hours, respectively; all the patients fasted from food for longer than the recommended time. The minimum and maximum fasting hours for fluids were 4 hours and 19 hours, respectively; all the patients fasted from fluid for longer than the recommended time.

Conclusion:
Most of the patients fasted from food and fluids for more than the time recommended by the American Society of Anaesthesiologists, the Royal College of Nursing, the Association of Anaesthetists of Great Britain and Ireland and the Royal College of Anaesthetists. Excessive fasting could lead to discomfort and possible morbidity in surgical patients. The surgical team needs to collaborate to reduce the fasting time by revising the operative list.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)798-802
Number of pages5
JournalBritish Journal of Nursing
Volume24
Issue number14
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 28 Jul 2016
Externally publishedYes

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