What is NPO Really?

Parimal K. Nandy, M.D.

To the Editor

I am in active practice in a teaching hospital and I am involved in resident teaching. From time to time, we have differences of opinion regarding the NPO status of our patients coming for elective surgery.

I take a strong stand against anesthetizing a patient who comes for an elective surgery and is not NPO, specially solid food, no matter how many hours ago the patient ate.

I am sure that them is more than one opinion about this over the country. We think the final decision should be up to the anesthesiologist involved.

I will appreciate comments, opinions, and concerns about NPO status (particularly as it bears on patient safety) from your readers.

Parimal K. Nandy, M.D.

Dayton, Ohio