There are so many details for parents to deal with during the stressful time leading up to surgery. Our hospital has a worksheet to summarize when and where to show up for surgery, and what to expect.
Parents mentioned it would be helpful to have this information in advance. In response to that request:
Here is an example of our Pre-Surgery Instructions worksheet (download here)
Helpful information on when to stop eating and drinking in preparation for anesthesia is listed. At our hospital, the pediatric anesthesiologists currently use these guidelines:
No solid foods, gum, or hard candy after midnight the night before surgery.
OK to have milk or formula up until 6 hours before your scheduled arrival time.
OK to have breastmilk up to 4 hours before the scheduled arrival time.
OK to have clear liquids until 2 hours before your arrival time.
Q: What is a "clear liquid"?
A: Water, Pedialyte, Sprite or 7-up, apple juice. (no orange juice)
Continue taking all prescribed medications prior to surgery unless otherwise specified.
Every hospital and surgery practice is a bit different, so make sure to follow your doctor's instructions. We know it is challenging to soothe a hungry child; the empty stomach guidelines before anesthesia are strictly in place for patient safety. At our hospital, we try to have the younger patients be scheduled earlier in the day, and to titrate when it's OK to allow certain types of drinks counting backwards from surgery time.
The operating room schedule changes sometimes, and we try constantly to make it all work out. Bless every parent and child for their patience, courage, and trust. Thank you.
Pediatric Neurosurgery team
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