This morning, Dr. Johnson posed an interesting question: do we really need to be NPO after midnight before a minor procedure? This is the standing dictum, but why? How many hours pre-procedure – 4, 6, 8? Does it change based on the type of procedure being performed?
In 2011, the American Society of Anesthesiologists put forth revised guidelines on pre-operative fasting to reduce the risk of aspiration. The summary is below, but here is the punch-line: your patient may not need to be NPO at midnight (but don’t use this to start a fight!).
|Ingested Material||Minimum fasting Period|
|Clear liquids||2 hours|
|Breast milk||4 hours|
|Infant formula||6 hours|
|Nonhuman milk||6 hours|
|Light meal||6 hours|