Ferrari LR, Rooney FM, Rockoff MA
Preoperative Fasting Practices in Pediatrics
Anesthesiology 90: 978-980, 1999
Preoperative fasting practices in pediatrics were studied in the major centres in Canada and USA.
There were 44 responses [86%]. Ad lib injestion of clear liquids was permitted upto 2 hours prior to surgery in children younger than 6 months in 64% of the hospitals, and in children 6 months or older in 48% of the hospitals. One hospital limited the amount of fluid injested to 8 ounces only. Injestion of breast milk was permitted upto 4 hours before surgery in all children. In children under 6 months 39% permitted the same upto 6 hours before anesthesia. 50% of the hospitals permitted injestion of formula upto 6 hours before anesthesia in children 6 months or older. 50% of the hospitals allowed injestion of solid food upto 6 hours prior to surgery whereas the other 50% prohibited the same from midnight. Breast milk was considered a clear fluid by 36% of the hospitals, a solid by 34% and something else by the rest. Formula was considered as a solid food by 23%, not specified by 36% and not a solid or a clear fluid by 20%. In children younger than 6 months, solid food was restricted to at least 4 hours prior to anesthesia by 34% of anesthetists and from midnight by 32%.
Thus there are no standard guidelines for fasting before anesthesia in the various hospitals.