UI Health eases patients’ pre-surgery protocol

Thursday, June 7, 2018

UI Health is one of a few hospitals in Illinois that does not require their patients to fast prior to surgery. The standard pre-surgical protocol, no food or liquids after midnight the night before surgery, can leave patients feeling dehydrated and nauseous, which results in a longer recovery time. However, Dr. Ari Rubenfeld, associate chief medical officer, says anesthesia has changed and starving and dehydrating patients before surgery is no longer necessary. UI Health’s new protocol allows and encourages patients to have clear fluids, coffee without cream, tea, water, juices without pulp, and ideally a sports drink up to two hours before surgery. UI Health provides each patient with a Gatorade powder pack prior to surgery. Over 98% of the patients follow the new guidelines, which have continued to produce improved outcomes.

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