The Naked Scientists

The Naked Scientists Forum

Author Topic: Why should you not eat before anaesthetics ?  (Read 5358 times)

Offline neilep

  • Withdrawnmist
  • Naked Science Forum GOD!
  • *******
  • Posts: 20602
  • Thanked: 8 times
    • View Profile
Why should you not eat before anaesthetics ?
« on: 15/08/2004 16:00:02 »
Hello lovely people of medical expertise,

Can you tell me if this is still relevent today ?

When I was 11, (quite a few years ago...ahem !!)..I broke my arm and it was all horrible and painful....what sticks in my mind the most was the fact that they couldn't give me a general anaesthetic at the time cos I had eaten breakfast, ie: there was food in my tummy, and I had to wait about 5 hours !!...why ?

....is that still the practice today or do modern day drugs behave better ?

Thanks...your armless answers will be helpful.


'Men are the same as women...just inside out !'
« Last Edit: 15/08/2004 16:26:03 by neilep »


 

Offline tweener

  • Moderator
  • Neilep Level Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1144
    • View Profile
Re: Why should you not eat before anaesthetics ?
« Reply #1 on: 15/08/2004 16:47:47 »
Personally I have always thought that rule was a bunch of hooey!  I've asked medical folks about it and always gotten some vague smokescreen that sounded like someone once said "Thou shalt not..." and thus they don't.

----
John - The Eternal Pessimist.
 

Offline MayoFlyFarmer

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 863
    • View Profile
    • http://www.myspace.com/wiguyinmn
Re: Why should you not eat before anaesthetics ?
« Reply #2 on: 15/08/2004 18:49:58 »
Yes it is tsill that way.  I believe they just don't want you to vommit and choke on it while you're under.

That's no moon.... its a GRAPEFRUIT!!!!
 

Offline nilmot

  • The Riddler
  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 369
    • View Profile
Re: Why should you not eat before anaesthetics ?
« Reply #3 on: 15/08/2004 19:06:18 »
Hello everyone. I  haven't posted for a long time so it's probably time to contribute. Recently I just had a week of work experience in the department of General Surgery in Leeds St. James's Hospital and during that time I was allowed in theatre.

The surgeon told me that patients must be fasting before going to surgery because when a person is under anaesthetic their bodies do not have full control in some of the functions, things such as digestive system, things that you wouldn't normally control. If the stomach suddenly contract for no reason, (e.g. like an impluse is sent but not intended) the patient vomits and because they are not conscious they can choke on their vomit and die a horrible death. Patients are usually kept in a post-anaethetic room with one to one care of a nurse until they are fully conscious.

I'm not sure if I included all the details.

Tom
 

Offline neilep

  • Withdrawnmist
  • Naked Science Forum GOD!
  • *******
  • Posts: 20602
  • Thanked: 8 times
    • View Profile
Re: Why should you not eat before anaesthetics ?
« Reply #4 on: 15/08/2004 19:31:38 »
Well, as ususal, the fountain of knowledge that is this website is sprinkling answers of juicy wetness all over me !!errrr...thanks people...after all these years....now I know. :-)

'Men are the same as women...just inside out !'
 

Offline bezoar

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 950
    • View Profile
Re: Why should you not eat before anaesthetics ?
« Reply #5 on: 16/08/2004 03:38:51 »
Yep, far as I know, it's to prevent aspiration of vomitus, which by the way, I had a patient die of that in the ER.  Not a pretty way to go.  Far easier not to eat before surgery.  We've even asked them to stop the consumption of solid food at 8 pm and the consumption of any liquids after midnight.  We've found if they eat up till midnight, there's still some solid food in the stomach in the morning.
 

Offline chris

  • Neilep Level Member
  • ******
  • Posts: 5337
  • Thanked: 65 times
  • The Naked Scientist
    • View Profile
    • The Naked Scientists
Re: Why should you not eat before anaesthetics ?
« Reply #6 on: 16/08/2004 11:23:23 »
You can anaesthetise patients who have eaten / drunk, but it is dangerous owing to the risk of aspiration (as correctly outlined above). Such "rapid sequence inductions" are practised under conditions when time is of the essence - i.e. life or death situations. For instance a person who has ruptured an aortic aneurysm and will bleed to death in the next 5 minutes unless someone opens it up and fixes it, or the pregnant woman who needs an emergency caesarian section to save her life, or the baby's life. Under these circumstances the anaesthetist usually moves in a blur as everything goes incredibly quickly !

Chris

"I never forget a face, but in your case I'll make an exception"
 - Groucho Marx
 

The Naked Scientists Forum

Re: Why should you not eat before anaesthetics ?
« Reply #6 on: 16/08/2004 11:23:23 »

 

SMF 2.0.10 | SMF © 2015, Simple Machines
SMFAds for Free Forums