Investigation of Preoperative Fasting Times in Children

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Abstract

Purpose

The aim of this study was to investigate preoperative fasting times of children.

Design

A prospective and descriptive design was used.

Methods

The study was carried out in the pediatric surgery departments of a University Faculty of Medicine Hospital, between January 1 and May 31, 2012. The sample included 332 pediatric patients having surgery with general anesthesia and their family. Data were collected via patient and family interview using a 28-item questionnaire developed by the researchers.

Findings

29.2% of the sample was between the age of 1 and 3 years, of which 68.1% were male. 82.5% had day surgery. 94.9% of families were informed about the operation and 97.6% about nutrition before the operation. The children were fed an average of 10.51 hours before the operation (n = 203) with clear liquids, 6.27 hours (n = 52) with breast milk, 9.9 hours (n = 107) with baby food or cow's milk, 11.22 hours (n = 100) with toast and other, and 12.25 hours (n = 106) with daily food. About 65.6% of children between the years 0 and 3 (n = 151) declared being hungry when they were going to surgery, and 58.9% said that they were thirsty. Of the children older than 3 years (n = 181), 55.2% were hungry and 58.0% were thirsty.

Conclusions

Results indicate that patients' preoperative fasting times were longer than recommended by current guidelines.

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