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AORN J. 2009 Jul;90(1):73-80. doi: 10.1016/j.aorn.2009.01.026.

Adopting preoperative fasting guidelines.

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Western Anesthesiology Associates, St Louis, MO, USA.


In 1999, the American Society of Anesthesiologists adopted preoperative fasting guidelines to enhance the quality and efficiency of patient care. Guidelines suggest that healthy, non-pregnant patients should fast six hours from solids and two hours from liquids. Although these guidelines are in place, studies suggest that providers are still using the blanket statement "NPO after midnight" without regard to patient characteristics, the procedure, or the time of the procedure. Using theory to help change provider's beliefs may help make change more successful. Rogers' Theory of Diffusion of Innovations can assist in changing long-time practice by laying the groundwork for an analysis of the benefits and disadvantages of proposed changes, such as changes to fasting orders, while helping initiate local protocols instead of additional national guidelines.

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