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  • • The goal of these guidelines is to minimise the fasting times for clear fluids to 1 hour.

    • Only the anaesthetist may adjust these guidelines.

    • If a patient appears likely to fast for much longer than these times, please contact the anaesthetist (see below).

    Elective surgery and anaesthesia

    Children less than 6 months of age:

    • Please plan for the last breast feed to finish no later than 3 Hours before anaesthesia.

    • Please plan for a formula feed to finish no later than 4 Hours before anaesthesia.

    All other patients:

    • Please do not give milk drinks, food, lollies or chewing gum for 6 Hours before anaesthesia.

    • Please offer clear fluids up to 1 Hour before anaesthesia.

    Oral Medication:  

    • Please continue regular oral medications unless otherwise requested by the anaesthetist.

    • Medications can be taken with a sip of clear fluid.  

    Patients with a specific (staggered) admission time:

    • The fasting orders above should be applied to that admission time.  

    Patients on a morning or afternoon list:  

    Morning Operation: List starts at 0830:

    Please fast from 0230 for food or milk and continue clear fluids until 0730  

    Afternoon Operation: List starts at 1330:

    Please fast from 0730 for food or milk and continue clear fluids until 1230  

    Cardiac Surgery: List starts at 0800:

    Please fast from 0200 for food or milk, and continue clear fluids until 0700    

    Emergency surgery and anesthesia  

    The fasting plan should be discussed at booking. Whilst awaiting surgery, the fasting plan should be reviewed at intervals with the duty anaesthetist to minimise dehydration.              


    Clear fluids are those fluids which, when held to the light, are transparent. They include glucose-based drinks, cordials and clear juices. They do not include particulate or milk-based products OR Jelly  

    Diabetes Mellitus patients will have special requirements and the anaesthetist of the day should be consulted.  

    Contacting the anaesthetist  

    For elective cases, the anaesthetist for the list should be contacted first for all queries regarding fasting. Please use the paging system.  

    For emergency cases or when unable to contact the elective list anaesthetist, you can call the anaesthetist in charge on ascom phone 52000.

    After hours contact the registrar or fellow on call on page 5773 or ascom phone 52000