Shortened preanesthetic fasting interval in pediatric cardiac surgical patients

Anesth Analg. 1992 May;74(5):694-7. doi: 10.1213/00000539-199205000-00013.


The recent liberalization of preoperative feeding orders in healthy pediatric outpatients prompts the question of whether this applies to children about to have cardiac surgery. The authors compared gastric fluid volume and pH in two groups of children undergoing elective cardiac surgery, one of which was not only permitted ad libitum clear liquids but was mandated to drink clear liquids 2-3 h before induction of anesthesia (study group). The other group followed routine inpatient preoperative fasting orders (control group). The study group (n = 44) averaged 3.1 +/- 4.1 yr and weighed 15.3 +/- 16.3 kg; the control group averaged 3.3 +/- 3.9 yr and weighed 14.3 +/- 12.1 kg (P = 0.82, 0.73, respectively). Aspiration of residual gastric fluid volume was attempted in all patients after induction of anesthesia. Gastric fluid volume averaged 0.6 +/- 0.9 mL/kg in the study group and 0.4 +/- 0.6 mL/kg in the control group (P = 0.13). Of the study patients, 41% had a measured gastric volume greater than or equal to 0.4 mL/kg compared with 32% of the control patients (P = 0.50). Of the 42 patients who had residual gastric fluid aspirated, pH determinations were completed on 37 aspirates; of these 19 of 20 (95%) in the study group and 14 of 17 (82%) in the control group had a gastric pH less than or equal to 2.5. Using a linear analogue scale, parents rated children in the study group to be more comfortable, less hungry, and less thirsty compared with the control patients (P = 0.004, 0.002, 0.0001, respectively).(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)

MeSH terms

  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Fasting*
  • Female
  • Heart Defects, Congenital / surgery*
  • Humans
  • Hydrogen-Ion Concentration
  • Infant
  • Male
  • Surveys and Questionnaires