NPO Guidelines

Summary of the NPO Guidelines for Clinicians of the Benderson Family Heart Center

From the Division of Cardiac Anesthesia*

Solid Foods Stop at Midnight


Formula, fortified breast milk, thickened fluids


Stop 6 Hours before procedure time
Breast milk


Stop 4 Hours before procedure time
Clear fluids:

Water, apple juice, Gatorade/Powerade, Pedialyte

Encourage up to 1 hour before procedure time


In the ICU: For patients who have a cuffed endotracheal tube or a cuffed tracheostomy tube with the cuff inflated and if the patient is receiving J tube feeds, the feeds can be continued until anesthesia arrives to transport the patient.


Any proposed deviation from these guidelines must be discussed with the Cardiac Anesthesia Board Runner (59159) and decisions will be made on a case-by-case basis.


*Based on the Department of Anesthesiology, Critical Care, and Pain Medicine NPO Guidelines approved by OR Governance, BCH and published May 1, 2022.

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