Oxford University Press's
Academic Insights for the Thinking World

  • Author: Mark Thomas

How long should children fast for clear fluids before general anaesthesia?

Anyone who has had a general anaesthetic will be well aware of the need to fast beforehand. ‘Nil by mouth’ (NBM) or ‘NPO’ (nil per os, os being the Latin for mouth) instructions are part of everyday life on pre-operative wards. This withholding of food and liquids before a general anaesthetic is necessary is because of the risk of the full stomach emptying all or parts of its contents into the patient’s lungs.

Read More