Table of Contents
International Scholarly Research Notices
Volume 2017, Article ID 2159606, 8 pages
Research Article

Preoperative Fasting among Adult Patients for Elective Surgery in a Kenyan Referral Hospital

1School of Nursing Sciences, University of Nairobi, P.O. Box 19676, Nairobi 00202, Kenya
2Kenyatta National Hospital, P.O. Box 20723, Nairobi 00202, Kenya

Correspondence should be addressed to Samuel Kimani;

Received 4 January 2017; Revised 24 March 2017; Accepted 2 April 2017; Published 12 April 2017

Academic Editor: Manfredi Tesauro

Copyright © 2017 George Njoroge et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Background. Preoperative fasting (POF) is physiologically and precautionary important during anesthesia and surgery. POF from midnight has been practiced despite the recommended shorter practice. Objective. Assessing preoperative fasting among adult patients scheduled for elective surgery at Kenyatta National Hospital (KNH). Methods. A descriptive cross-sectional study involving 65 surgical patients. A questionnaire of mixed questions on demographics, reasons, source of instructions, opinion on instructions, time, premedication practices, outcome, and complains on NPO was used. Analysis was quantitatively done with SPSS v. 22. Ethical approval was obtained from KNH-UoN ERC. Results. Of the respondents 93.8% lacked knowledge on the correct reasons for POF and felt that the instructions were unclear and less important <50%. POF instructions were administered by nurses 80%, anesthetists 15%, and surgeons 5%. Most of respondents (73.8%) fasted > 15 hours. The POF outcomes were rated moderately challenging as follows: prolonged wait for surgery 44.6%, thirst 43.1%, hunger 36.9%, and anxiety 29.2%. Conclusion. Nurses are critical in providing POF instructions and care, and patient knowledge level is a mirror reflection of the quality of interventions. This underscores the need to build capacity for nurses and strengthen the health system to offer individualized preoperative interventions as well as monitoring and clinical auditing of fasting practices.