General anaesthesia

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Your child's stomach must be empty before a general anaesthetic. Follow these instructions to help your child get ready for an operation, test or treatment.

Key points

  • Your child's stomach must be empty during and after general anaesthesia. If your child's stomach is not empty, your child could vomit and damage their lungs. If you do not follow these instructions, your child's operation, test or treatment will be delayed or cancelled.
  • Starting at midnight before your child's operation, test or treatment, your child must not eat or drink any solid food, gum, candy, milk or orange juice. Your child must only have clear liquids such as water, ginger ale or clear apple juice until three hours before the anaesthesia.
  • Three hours before the operation, test or treatment, stop giving your child anything to drink.
  • There is a small chance your child may have serious side effects from the general anaesthesia. The anaesthesiologist will watch your child carefully to deal with these problems if they happen.
Last updated: November 17th 2009