Anaesthetics: Preoperative Fasting Guidelines

The following recommended fasting times apply to elective patients. For emergency cases, please discuss with anaesthetist involved.

Adults & Children

6 hours
Light meal - e.g. Toast, boiled/poached eggs, breakfast cereals, fruit.
6 hours
Cow's milk
2 hours
Clear fluids - e.g. Water, clear fruit juices, carbonated drinks, tea or coffee without milk.

Children only

6 hours
Cow's milk
6 hours
Instant formula
4 hours
Breast milk

All medication should be given at the prescribed time with just sufficient water if needed to swallow. Only general exceptions are oral hypoglycaemic agents. If in doubt, seek the advice of the anaesthetist involved. Discuss babies having two-hourly milk feed with the anaesthetist involved.

Nurse taking blood pressure of a seated man