Patients Info: Anaesthesia: Eating

EATING AND DRINKING

  • It is dangerous to undergo surgery and anaesthesia on a full stomach: As we fall asleep the reflexes that protect our airways are lost.  Muscles relax and the stomach contents can push up the oesophagus and spill over into the lungs.  This can result in a life threatening form of pneumonia.
  • Solid foods take the longest to empty from the stomach, so NO SOLID FOOD  CAN BE CONSUMED 6 HOURS BEFORE UNDERGOING SURGERY.
  • If your child is having surgery in the morning, no food, cows milk or liquids containing particles can be consumed after midnight on the night before surgery.
  • If the surgery is in the afternoon, offer the child a light breakfast at 7 o’clock on the morning of surgery.
  • Babies who are still being breast fed, may have a feed 4 hours before surgery. Round 2am if on a morning list, or 8am if on an afternoon list.
  • Clear fluids can be consumed up to 2 to 3 hours before surgery.
  • CLEAR FLUID DOES NOT CONTAIN ANY MILK OR PARTICLES. You can offer clear apple juice, diluted half/half with water, or black tea with sugar.  One can “read a newspaper” through a clear fluid.  Orange juice is clearly not suitable.
  • Cold fluids clear faster from the stomach than hot fluids.
  • If your child is on the morning list, offer the clear fluid at 5am.
  • If your child is on the afternoon list, offer clear fluids at 10am.
  • For the little ones, you can offer the volume of fluid they would normally have in their bottle, older children can have a cup full.
  • If your child is not thirsty, or does not want to drink the fluid, do not force them to have it.