Nil by mouth: a misleading statement

J Perioper Pract. 2007 Aug;17(8):366, 368-71. doi: 10.1177/175045890701700801.


Preoperative fasting is universally accepted as a beneficial practice to reduce the risk of pulmonary aspiration of gastric contents during the induction of general anaesthesia. What is less clear for many junior doctors and nurses is the administration of oral medication during the fasting period. This study aims to highlight the subjective understanding of the statement, 'nil by mouth' with regard to drug administration.

MeSH terms

  • Administration, Oral
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Anesthesia, General
  • Fasting*
  • Humans
  • Middle Aged
  • Preoperative Care*
  • Retrospective Studies
  • United Kingdom