Preoperative Fasting Guidelines: Why Are We Not Following Them?

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Your patients should be drinking clear liquids until 2 hours before surgery. If they are not, you should stop reading and change your hospital practices. Your patients will thank you. They will be less thirsty, be less anxious, and have improved patient satisfaction without an increase in the rate of pulmonary aspiration.1 These practices have been recommended by the American Society of Anesthesiologists preoperative fasting guidelines since 1999. Therefore, the question is “why are not we doing this?” The accompanying manuscript by Shiraishi et al2 provides evidence that you should feel safe in allowing your patients to do so.
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