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A survey of pre-operative fasting regimens before regional ophthalmic anaesthesia in three regions of the United Kingdom

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A postal and telephone survey of the practice of fasting before regional ophthalmic anaesthesia with and without sedation was sent to 50 hospitals in three regions of the United Kingdom. Responses were received from 100% of hospitals. In most hospitals (58%), local anaesthetic blocks were performed by both surgeons and anaesthetists, with surgeons alone providing ophthalmic anaesthesia in only 14%. Eighty-six per cent of hospitals surveyed had a formal policy regarding pre-operative fasting, with 44% allowing patients to eat and drink freely until their operation. In those hospitals where a fast was imposed, the most common fasting periods were 6 h for food and 2 h for fluids. Twenty-six per cent of respondents would be prepared to give intravenous sedation to a non-fasted patient during eye surgery: small doses of benzodiazepine were the most frequently suggested method. National evidence-based guidelines for ophthalmic regional anaesthesia are needed.
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Keywords: Anaesthesia; local; Ophthalmology; Pre-operative care; fasting

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Specialist Registrar, 2: Consultant, Sir Humphry Davy Department of Anaesthesia, Bristol Royal Infirmary, Bristol BS2 8HW, UK

Publication date: December 1, 1999

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