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J Perianesth Nurs. 1998 Aug;13(4):225-8.

Perioperative thirst: a patient perspective.

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West Los Angeles Veterans Administration Center, CA 90073, USA.


Many institutions continue to require surgery patients to take nothing by mouth after midnight despite current research that supports allowing most patients to drink fluids up to 3 hours before surgery. This study of 50 elective surgery patients describes their perceptions of discomfort caused by thirst. Results show that thirst caused significantly more discomfort to the patient than not being able to eat or sleep or worrying about the surgery itself. Given these results, nurses are urged to work within their institutions to change the current practice regarding preoperative fluid restriction.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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