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Liquid intake limit cut to one hour

Patients at Benenden Hospital can drink fluids up to one hour before undergoing an operation.

Previous fasting rules stated that patients should stop eating six hours before having a general anaesthetic or spinal block, and stop drinking two hours before their procedure.

Patients are allowed clears fluids such as juices, squashes, fruit teas and non-carbonated drinks an hour before their operation but the six-hour ban on food will remain.

Anaesthetic Clinical Lead Simon Brooks said: “We liaise with ward staff to ensure that patients have been given the opportunity to have their drink and so far it’s worked really well.

“The rules for food fasting are nationally accepted and are research-based and it is not expected that these rules will change significantly.

“Research has shown that fluid is retained in the stomach for just 12 minutes and if a patient is dehydrated it can result in a dry mouth and more nausea, sickness and dizziness.”

Last year, Benenden Hospital became the first private hospital in the UK to be nationally accredited by the Royal College of Anaesthetists.

More than 5,000 patients are given a general anaesthetic or spinal block at Benenden every year ahead of surgery such as hip and knee replacements, gynaecology or urology procedures, weight loss and some general surgery.

Published on 10 March 2020