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Can Anaesth Soc J. 1978 Jan;25(1):36-9.

Gastric volume and pH in out-patients.


We measured the volume and pH of the gastric content of 21 out-patients and 21 in-patients under general anaesthesia. Gastric tubes were inserted after induction of anaesthesia, and gastric fluids were withdrawn for pH determinations. Gastric volumes were measured by a dilution technique using polyethylene glycol as the indicator and also by measurement of the volume aspirated through a gastrict tube. Out-patients had a mean gastric volume of 69 +/- 17 ml while in-patients had a mean volume of 33 +/- 4 ml. The average gastric pH for the out-patients was 1.8 +/- 0.2 and for the in-patients 2.0 +/- 0.3. Four out-patients had more than 75 ml of gastric fluid of pH less than 2.0. Aspiration through a gastrict tube did not empty the stomach completely and the volume thus obtained gave a falsely low estimate of the gastric volume.

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