A patient is given nothing by mouth (NPO) because of the risk of aspiration of gastric contents that may occur with as little as 25 mL. content in the stomach. Although all sedation has a risk of aspiration, avoidance of deep sedation can decrease this risk, or in specific circumstances, H2 blockers can be administered, which further decreases the risk of aspiration. Even though a patient is NPO, we allow clear liquids up to two or three hours before a scheduled procedure. Also, on the morning of the procedure, patients may take their typical oral medications but with only 2 or 3 oz. of water (25-27).
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