Assessment of Preoperative Fasting Time and Associated Discomfort in Adult Patients Undergoing Elective Surgery in Public Hospitals of Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, 2021.

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Addis Abeba University


Introduction: Preoperative fasting is necessary to lower the risk of aspiration during anesthesia. The period of fasting is usually prolonged beyond the recommended time for various reasons and affects patient’s comfort. Current guidelines recommend a more relaxed policy which allows fluid intake up to 2 hours before surgery. Objective: To assess preoperative fasting time and associated discomfort in adult patients undergoing elective surgery in public hospitals of Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, 2021. Method: A hospital-based cross-sectional study was conducted on 422 adult patients who underwent elective surgery at selected public hospitals of Addis Ababa. Data was collected from February 20 – May 10, 2021 from medical records and patients by using structured questionnaire. The collected data was entered into statistical package for social sciences (SPSS) software version 24 for analysis. Spearman correlation was used to assess relationship between preoperative fasting time and discomforting factors. P values of less than 0.05 were considered statistically significant. Results: The mean preoperative fasting time was 14.26 ± 2.35 h (range 8 - 22 hr) for solids and 13.89 ± 2.37 h (range 8 - 21 hr.) for clear fluids. Immediately before surgery 64% of participants stated that they felt discomfort and factors contributing to discomfort were thirst (58.1%), hunger (49%), mouth dryness (49%), lengthy wait prior to surgery (16.4%), headache (22%) and tiredness 38.6%. There was a moderate positive correlation between preoperative solid fasting time and severity of hunger (rs (420) = .46, p < .oo1) and mouth dryness (rs (420) = .37, p < .oo1), thirst (rs (420) = .32, p < .oo1) in this study. Conclusion: The mean fasting time was 6.95 times longer for clear liquid and 2.38 times longer for solids than the American Society of Anesthesiologist recommendation. Preoperative fasting duration had association with Preoperative discomforting factors.



Anesthesia; Elective surgery; Preoperative