RECOMMENDATIONS FOR PERIOPERATIVE FASTING IN CHILDREN
Ljiljana Popović, Tatjana Goranović, Gordana Jakovljević
Perioperative fasting is a standard procedure for the preparation of patients for surgery. The current guidelines for perioperative fasting in children recommend adherence to the instructions, “2-4-6” i.e. taking clear liquids up to 2 hours, breast milk up to 4 hours, and other non-human milk and solids up to 6 hours prior to surgery. Oral fluid intake is allowed within the first 3 postoperative hours in most pediatric patients. Too long perioperative fasting is not recommended, and may be harmful, both for healthy children so for a specific group of pediatric patients such as cancer patients. It is possible to avoid the adverse effects of prolonged perioperative fasting by appropriate planning of operating programs, good coordination of anesthetic and surgical team and compliance to the guidelines. Although recent studies suggest an advantage of more liberal perioperative approach in relation to the current guidelines in children, for now there is no enough evidence to change existing recommendations. However, according to ongoing studies it is possible that soon there will be evidence enough to support additional shortening of perioperative fasting time interval.