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Preoperative Nursing and Preoperative Care for the Patient

Before answer in detail what preoperative nursing is, it is capital to explain what the perioperative action consists of. The perioperative action is a arrangement of contest which takes abode afore a surgical action is undertaken. It consists of three capital phases: the preoperative phase, the intraoperative appearance and the postoperative phase. A accepted preoperative appearance begins aback the accommodating is accepted to accept a surgical action until he/she are transferred to the operating theater. Then comes the intraoperative appearance breadth the accommodating is transferred to the operating allowance and goes on till he/she is accepted to the postanesthesia affliction assemblage (PACU). Finally the postoperative appearance begins with the acceptance of the accommodating to the PACU and ends up with the aftereffect appraisal in the analytic setting. In the perioperative appearance a assistant has a assignment to accomplish a cardinal of basic tasks which are benign for the patient’s bloom like for example: preoperative fasting, accepting abreast consent, or actual postoperative affliction (Christine Tea 2010).



Preoperative nursing involves a actual important footfall which should never be overlooked. This refers to the preoperative fasting, which anniversary alone charge abide afore entering the operating theater. Abnegation is an capital footfall as it prevents the acceleration of belly juices into the oesophagus aback anaesthetic is administered, which could advance to aspiration (the assimilation of belly contents). I absitively to accept this affair because the accountable is actual arguable amidst nurses and anaesthetists. Alike admitting I am aloof a aboriginal year apprentice with actual little experience, I accept already apparent some adverse recommendations apropos this subject. While alive in the ward, nurses encouraged preoperative abnegation to alpha at midnight which contrasts with what we did in our lectures, in which a preoperative fast of 4-6hrs was recommended. Abiding starvation can advance to alternative medical problems, including hypovolaemia, confusion, headache, hypoglycaemia and irritability. I shall accordingly try and acquisition recommendations based on analysis apropos the best timing of preoperative abnegation because too abundant or too little time can be alarming for the patient.

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In adjustment to verify what the capital recommendations on preoperative abnegation are, I consulted four nursing accessories through the use of the CINAHL (the Cumulative Index to Nursing and Affiliated Bloom Literature) database which is a actual reliable database apropos nursing and alternative affiliated bloom articles. It was acclaimed that altered after-effects were acquired aback appliance ‘preoperative fasting’ and ‘pre-operative fasting’ as chase words. Both about gave reliabe results. The after-effects aquired were additionally bound to abounding argument and a appear date from January 2006 up till April 2011 to get all the latest relevent articles.


The aboriginal commodity I came beyond goes by the name ‘Pre-operative fasting: a civic analysis of German amazement departments’ accounting by J.P. Breuer et al (2009). In the past, it was abundant added accepted to abjure the accommodating from midnight afore constituent surgery. In October 2004, the German Society of Anaesthesiology and Intensive Affliction (Deutsche Gesellschaft für Anästhesiologie und Intensivmedizin, DGAI) and the Alliance of German Anaesthesiologists (Bund Deutscher Anästhesisten, BDA) set a cardinal of guidelines, which recommended a fast of 6 hours from solid aliment and dairy products, and 2 hours from bright fluids afore constituent anaplasty takes place. It was recommended that there should be abnegation from nicotine at atomic 6hrs afore surgery. J.P. Breuer et al (2009) appropriate that the multidisciplinary aggregation should consistently accumulate themselves up to date with the civic recommendations apropos pre-operative fasting. A boyhood of respondents still chase a austere arbitrary NBM-after-midnight routine.

Another article, accustomed the appellation ‘Preoperative Abnegation Continuance and Medication Instruction: Are We Improving?’, was accounting by Jeannehe T. Crenshaw and Elizabeth H. Winslow (2006). Crenshaw and Winslow fabricated a abstract review, on the guidelines created by the American Society of Anesthesiologists (ASA 1999) on preoperative abnegation which accept been summarised in the table below. This is alleged the ‘2-4-6-8’ guideline.

Length of Fast

Beverage or Food

2 hours

Clear Liquids

4 hours

Breast Milk

6 hours

Formula, milk, ablaze meal

8 hours

Regular Meal

As cited by Pandit and Pandit (1997), Crenshaw and Winslow, declared that the focus of preoperative abnegation should not be on how continued we should accumulate a accommodating fasted, but to bigger analyze patients at accident of aspiration so that stricter measures would be implemented on such patients. Studies fabricated by ASA additionally appearance that demography bright liquids a few hours afore anaplasty ability actually abate belly capacity due to dispatch of peristalsis. In its guidelines ASA declared that beneath accent should be accustomed to the aggregate of aqueous ingested afore anaplasty than the blazon of aqueous ingested. Abnegation guidelines administer for both adults and children.

The third commodity I advised was blue-blooded ‘Pre-operative abnegation for constituent surgical patients’ accounting by Alan Woodhouse (2006). Woodhouse recommended an advance in the patient’s appraisal to abstain the accommodating accepting to delay for unecessary amounts of time afterwards aliment or liquid. Liasing with the operating amphitheater agents could abstain confusions in the calendar and added abiding fasting. Furthermore the columnist additionally declared that nursing schools should alternation their acceptance to analyse and appraisal analytic procedures and not alone apprentice analytic abilities as some schools tend to do. According to the abstraction there seemed to be abashing apropos the best timing for fasting. Keeping a connected amend with contempo analysis accessories can enhance apprenticeship aural the multidisciplinary team, consistent in beneath confusion.

The aftermost commodity analysed in the abstract analysis was blue-blooded ‘Preoperative abnegation for preventing perioperative complications in children’ with authors Robertson-Malt S, Winters A, Ewing S, Jackson D and Kiame G (2008) in which appropriate focus was placed on accouchement cases. Robertson et al asserted that bright liquids can be administered up to two hours afore anaplasty although added studies accept to be done for alternative cases. Furthermore they assured that there is no added accident in aspiration during anaplasty and may accommodate the accommodating with a bigger preoperative experience. The American Academy of Padeatrics (as cited by Robertson et al) acclaimed that milk or debris can be ingested four hours in neonates, six hours in breed and eight hours for children.

J.P. Breuer et al (2009) fabricated a analysis consisting of absolute questions to affirm wether the anaesthesiologists are in blow with the new set of guidelines established. The writers were additionally able of accouterment affirmation apropos the best adjustment of preoperative abnegation by authoritative a abstraction on the cardinal of aspirations which occured. It was assured that the atomic bulk of aspirations occured aback afterward the new guidelines.

Studies in assorted hospitals appearance that there was a abatement in the cardinal of aspirations. In 1996, Mandelson assured that 0.15% of the patients in the abstraction suffered pulmonary aspirations. Due to today’s change in focus apropos preoperative fasting, as declared by Pandit and Pandit (1997), alone 0.04% suffered aspirations as recorded by Olsson et al (1986). Furthermore aback belly capacity were suctioned afterwards administering of anaesthesia, aforementioned volumes were acquired for bot patients fasted brief and patients fasted from the morning of surgery.

On the alternative hand, this commodity takes a altered approach. In this commodity a ashore access access was taken by actuality qulitative instead of quantitative. The biographer absitively to ask alone nurses about their attitudes on preoperative nursing, a adjustment which was acclimated by Strauss and Corbin’s (1998). From this an empirical-based cessation can be created by: interviews, analysing observations, and categorising findings.

When reviewing the affirmation from a absolute of 1,274 children, affirmation shows that a fast of two hours from bright liquids does not put accouchement at accident of aspiration. Apropos the assimilation of milk preoperatively, there is bereft affirmation currently accessible alike admitting van der Walt (1989 – cows’ milk) and Cook-Sather (2003 – blueprint milk) addressed the issue. The affirmation provided accepted to be bereft on the base of these two baby trials.

c. In general, all arguments agreed with anniversary alternative and approved to prove that a beneath continuance of preoperative abnegation was abundant for patients with constituent surgery. In the aboriginal article, J.P. Breuer et al (2009), as cited by the DGAI and BDA, went into beneath detail, by advertence that a preoperative fast of six hours for debris and two hours for bright liquids should be made. In accession commodity Crenshaw and Winslow (2006), as cited by ASA, went into greater detail by acquainted assertive exceptions such as milk which is advised as a solid in the stomach. Furthermore, Crenshaw and Winslow (2006) declared that guidelines set up by ASA are the aforementioned for both adults and children. On the alternative duke the American Academy of Paediatrics, as cited by Robertson et al (2008) gave specific abnegation times for neonates, breed and accouchement i.e. depending on age.

d. Personally I anticipate that ASA, as cited by Crenshaw and Winslow (2006), acclimated a bigger address aback answer the time at which assertive types of aliment can be ingested afore surgery. A clearer bulletin is delivered to the readers. As commendations the adverse advocacy aback Crenshaw and Winslow (2006) and Robertson (2008) discussed preoperative abnegation in children, I tend to accede with the closing more. This is because an developed abdomen cannot be advised to be as ample as that of a bairn appropriately altered preoperative abnegation times charge to be established.

4. Accepting aggregate all of the aloft advice I can now summarise and finalise the aloft recommendations into guidelines:

Improve the preoperative appraisal of the accommodating as it may actual able-bodied advance to bigger conditioning of the patient’s bloom cachet in the postoperative appearance and a abatement in the accident of pulmonary aspiration during surgery. Its aim is to analyze the knowledge, accomplished experience, perceptions and opinions of nurses alive in surgical units at a bounded hospital with attention to preoperative abnegation times, appliance a ashore access approach.

For all patients, except in assertive exceptions such as patients with GI problems, a abnegation of 2-4 hours from bright liquids is about abundant to anticipate pulmonary aspiration of belly contents. Examples of bright liquids include: water, atramentous coffee and lurid chargeless orange juice.

Infants and bairn accouchement who are still on breast milk, accept a abnegation aeon of about 4 hours in total.

For best patients, a ablaze meal consisting of low fat and absurd foods can be taken 6 hours afore anaplasty begins. All types of solid aliment and non-human milk can be captivated 6 hours before.

Smoking should be abhorred at all times, about one should not smoke at atomic 6 hours afore the procedure.

Patients who accept a addiction to aspirate added than others, such as adipose individuals and patients who ache from GI problems should be fasted for best times, about 8 hours, to abstain aggravation during surgery.

Communicate with the operating amphitheater agents to apperceive actually the time aback patients are alleged for surgery. This should anticipate the patient’s abiding starvation .

Preoperative Beard Removal


Another role of the assistant in preoperative affliction is beard abatement at the planned surgical site. Beard abatement appliance a razor blade, is a broadly practised address in abounding hospitals afore the accommodating gets accessible for constituent surgery. I absitively to accept this affair because afresh alone studies accept apparent action to this address by advertence that beard abatement in the surgical armpit could actualize nicks in the skin, which can be calmly colonised by microorganisms. During my adjustment in the orthopaedic breadth I accept apparent abundant surgical armpit infections (SSIs). Extending my ability added to what may be the accessible causes of an SSI would advice me aback faced with such situations. Accordingly I shall do my best to chase for affirmation based recommendations on wether beard abatement should be advised and if so, how should it be agitated out.

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Once again, I absitively to accomplish use of the CINAHL database to access recommendations from accessories and analytical reviews. By appliance affirmation based analysis one can aback his/her arguments with reliable information. The chase words acclimated in this case were combinations of the following: preoperative, pre-operative, hair, removal, SSI and prevention. Accessories were aloof bound to abounding argument and a appear date ambit was set starting from the 1990’s up to the present day i.e. May 2011. There sere bound chase after-effects aback aggravating to acquisition accessories apropos to the contempo past.


The aboriginal commodity I begin reliable was titled, ‘Preoperative beard removal: a analytical review’ and was accounting by authors Professor Judith Tanner, Kate Moncaster and Dianne Woodings (2007). As cited by Tanner et al, the British Hospital Infection Society (HIS) Alive Party guidelines of 2003, appropriate that beard abatement should be abhorred with the barring aback interferance with the surgical armpit is made. To the adverse of HIS recommendations, the Norwegian Centre for Bloom Technology Appraisal (SMM 2000) appropriate that beard abatement shouldn’t be acerb abandoned as there is no authentic affirmation that opposes its use. Additionally the three organisations acclaim altered methods of beard abatement aback needed. The CDC suggests that beard should be removed anon afore anaplasty by appliance clippers (Mangram 1999). The Norwegian centre for Bloom Technology Appraisal (SMM 2000) agrees hardly on these agreement about it additionally recommends the use of depilatory chrism instead because clippers tend to accept a greater addiction to anatomy nicks and scratches in the breadth actuality shaved, which can all access the adventitious of an SSI. HIS (2003) appropriate that beard abatement should be done by appliance a depilatory chrism instead.

Another commodity with the appellation ‘The Impact of Preoperative beard abatement on Surgical Armpit Infection’, accounting by accumulated authors of the Joanna Briggs Institute (2003), captivated a cardinal of recommendations which could prove capital aback alive in a analytic setting. The authors appropriate that beard abatement should be abhorred aback accessible afore surgery, abnormally with a razor, as affirmation proves that the accident of SSIs increases if this is done. Aback comparing the best adjustment to abolish beard i.e. by atom or clipping, two randomised studies assured that the differnce in the patients who abiding an SSI for both techniques was statistically cogent to say that abridgement is abundant safer. About in patients who are activity to accept belly anaplasty the appliance of depilatory chrism is preffered over the closing two. The biographer additionally appropriate that the action of beard abatement should booty abode at atomic 2 hours afore surgery.

The third article, called ‘Preoperative beard removal: a case address with implications for nursing’ by Sandra P. Baby (1995), in my opinion, was the best authentic out of all three. This address acerb recommended that beard abatement should not be encouraged alone if the surgical armpit is densely covered with hair. If the beard follicles charge to be removed from this area, clippers, or better, depilatory chrism should be applied. It additionally supports the antecedent two accessories advised which states that beard abatement should be done as abutting as accessible to the time of surgery. The columnist encouraged all nurses to administer the theoratical allegation in such letters to be activated in the analytic setting.

The final commodity advised agitated the appellation ‘Razors adjoin clippers’ and was accounting by authors Tracy Taylor and Judith Tanner (2005). A abstraction was done on razors and clippers to try and actuate which is the best adjustment of beard removal. The final advocacy of this commodity was to use clippers if beard abatement is actually all-important alike admitting the aberration in surgical armpit infection is not statistically significant. Taylor and Tanner begin that the adventitious of causing abrasions is greater aback appliance a razor brand accordingly it is added traumatic. This makes it easier for microorganisms to colonise the wound. As cited by Taylor and Tanner, the Cochrane analysis begin bereft affirmation to achieve that depilatory chrism has an advantage over clippers and razors.

The abstract accounting by Tanner et al (2007) is a analytical analysis which about is a abstraction on a accurate accountable which is after evaluated depending on the blazon of advice gathered. A alternation of randomised ascendancy trials were able and altered methods of beard abatement were compared and activated adjoin anniversary other. By appliance this adjustment Tanner et al approved to discover: if beard abatement is all-important or not, the best adjustment of beard abatement and the ideal timing of beard removal.

The commodity accounting by the Joanna Briggs Institute (2003) additionally had the aforementioned architecture of a analytical review. In accession to this the analytical analysis additionally independent levels of affirmation so that the clairvoyant would accept a acceptable abstraction on the qaulity of analysis which has been performed. The capital analysis was captivated in the following: atom vs no beard removal, atom vs clipping, atom vs depilation, timing of beard abatement and wet vs dry shaving.

Small (1995) fabricated use of altered analysis actual based on affirmation proposed by alternative writers to try and acquisition the best recommendations apropos preoperative care. The biographer discussed a array of analysis methods agitated out by others afore advertence which is the best advocacy based on the after-effects of these articles.

Taylor and Tanner’s (2005) commodity was additionally based on a analytical analysis in which they absitively to actualize two sets of randomised controlled trials in adjustment to actuate which is the added able from razors and clippers. Postoperatively the patients were asked absolute questions to actuate the after-effects of preoperative beard removal.

c. Although not abundant adverse recommendations were begin in the accessories mentioned, still there are some institutes/authors that do not accede with anniversary other’s suggestion. In the aloft recommendations, HIS (2003) and the Joanna Briggs Institute (2003) all agreed that preoperative beard abatement should be abhorred if the cavity armpit is not absolutely blocked by hair. To the adverse of this the Norwegian Centre for Bloom Technology Appraisal declared that there is no authentic affirmation to go adjoin preoperative beard removal. Taylor and Tanner (2005) additionally begin that there is no affirmation to advance that depilatory chrism is added able than abridgement and appliance razors. On the alternative duke the Norwegian Centre for Bloom Technology Appraisal (2000) recommends the use of depilatory chrism to abolish beard as there are beneath affairs of nicks actuality formed in the skin, causing an SSI.

d. In accordance with HIS (2003) and the Joanna Briggs Institute (2003) I advance that preoperative beard abatement should be abhorred if accessible because this creates a greater adventitious for bacilli to colonise the area. This would eventually leads to a SSI. Furthermore I additionally animate the use of the advocacy set by the Norwegian Centre for Bloom Technology Appraisal (2000) because clashing razors or clipper, depilatory chrism works by abandoning the beard itself while alienated bark affliction with aciculate objects.


Having aggregate all of the aloft advice I can now summarise and finalise the aloft recommendations into guidelines:

Assess the surgical armpit and actuate if beard abatement can be abhorred or not. If beard is blubbery and amassed in the area, than beard should be removed.

Explain to the accommodating why beard abatement is to booty place

Remove beard by appliance either clippers or depilatory cream. Try to abstain razors as these could access the adventitious of adversity an SSI.

The action of beard abatement should booty abode as abutting as accessible to surgery, alluringly 2 hours afore surgery.

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