Children and adults are fasted before procedures requiring sedation or general anaesthesia in the belief that this will reduce the incidence of regurgitation and possible aspiration of gastric contents into the lungs. The rationale behind this is that anaesthesia reduces protective cough reflexes, unlike natural sleep where these are maintained, making aspiration more likely. Aspiration may then cause significant morbidity associated with pneumonitis. (Mendelson 1946, Teabeaut 1952, Roberts and Shirley 1974)
Unfortunately there are many unanswered questions when it comes to these rationales and assumptions and there is a lot we do not know about fasting in healthy children.
This webinar will look at what we do know and why we have formulated current recommendations.
Our discussion will look at aspiration in children, its incidence and outcomes, and fasting for solids and breast milk in babies.
The main focus, however, will be on on clear liquid recommendations, as this is where most research has been directed. (Splinter and Schreiner 1999, Cochrane 2009, Andersson et al 2015)
By the end of the webinar, participants will have an improved understanding of:
1. Understand why we need to fast before procedures.
2. What are the problems we face when fasting children?
3. Know gastric emptying times for solids, milk and clear liquids.
4. Understand new Guidelines for Fasting.
This webinar is supported by the Australian & New Zealand College of Anaesthetists.
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