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Preoperative fasting in children: review of existing guidelines and recent developments


Frykholm, P; Schindler, E; Sümpelmann, R; Walker, R; Weiss, M (2018). Preoperative fasting in children: review of existing guidelines and recent developments. British Journal of Anaesthesia, 120(3):469-474.

Abstract

The current guidelines for preoperative fasting recommend intervals of 6, 4, and 2 h (6-4-2) of fasting for solids, breast milk, and clear fluids, respectively. The objective is to minimize the risk of pulmonary aspiration of gastric contents, but also to prevent unnecessarily long fasting intervals. Pulmonary aspiration is rare and associated with nearly no mortality in paediatric anaesthesia. The incidence may have decreased during the last decades, judging from several audits published recently. However, several reports of very long fasting intervals have also been published, in spite of the implementation of the 6-4-2 fasting regimens. In this review, we examine the physiological basis for various fasting recommendations, the temporal relationship between fluid intake and residual gastric content, and the pathophysiological effects of preoperative fasting, and review recent publications of various attempts to reduce the incidence of prolonged fasting in children. The pros and cons of the current guidelines will be addressed, and possible strategies for a future revision will be suggested.

Abstract

The current guidelines for preoperative fasting recommend intervals of 6, 4, and 2 h (6-4-2) of fasting for solids, breast milk, and clear fluids, respectively. The objective is to minimize the risk of pulmonary aspiration of gastric contents, but also to prevent unnecessarily long fasting intervals. Pulmonary aspiration is rare and associated with nearly no mortality in paediatric anaesthesia. The incidence may have decreased during the last decades, judging from several audits published recently. However, several reports of very long fasting intervals have also been published, in spite of the implementation of the 6-4-2 fasting regimens. In this review, we examine the physiological basis for various fasting recommendations, the temporal relationship between fluid intake and residual gastric content, and the pathophysiological effects of preoperative fasting, and review recent publications of various attempts to reduce the incidence of prolonged fasting in children. The pros and cons of the current guidelines will be addressed, and possible strategies for a future revision will be suggested.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, further contribution
Communities & Collections:04 Faculty of Medicine > University Children's Hospital Zurich > Clinic for Surgery
Dewey Decimal Classification:610 Medicine & health
Scopus Subject Areas:Health Sciences > Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine
Language:English
Date:March 2018
Deposited On:29 Jan 2019 16:21
Last Modified:29 Jul 2020 09:03
Publisher:Elsevier
ISSN:0007-0912
OA Status:Closed
Free access at:Publisher DOI. An embargo period may apply.
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.bja.2017.11.080
PubMed ID:29452803

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