Fasting is mandatory prior to sedation or a general anaesthesia to minimise the risk of regurgitating the stomach contents. Fasting reduces the risk of regurgitation and aspiration and damage to lungs by acid if regurgitation does occur. Each hospital has its own instructions that you should follow.
What do the experts suggest?
The following fasting guidelines are recommended by ANZCA, although each anaesthetist may modify these according to individual requirements.
For healthy adults having an elective procedure, a light meal (tea and toast) may be had no sooner than six hours prior to anaesthesia and clear fluids may be had up to two hours prior to anaesthesia.
For healthy children over six weeks of age having an elective procedure, limited solid food and formula milk may be given no sooner than six hours prior to anaesthesia, and clear fluids up to two hours prior to anaesthesia.