Patients undergoing cardiac catheterization are ordered to take nothing by mouth after midnight before their procedure with no evidence to support this practice.
To identify best practice for fasting requirements before cardiac catheterization through comparative evaluation in a prospective randomized controlled study.
The study included a convenience sample of 197 patients undergoing elective cardiac catheterization in a progressive inpatient cardiac unit at a regional heart institute in the midwestern United States. The patients were randomized into 2 groups. Patients in the heart-healthy diet group could eat a specified diet with low-acid options until the scheduled procedure. Patients in the fasting group were restricted to nothing by mouth after midnight except for sips of water with medications until the scheduled procedure. Outcome measures included patient-reported satisfaction and complications.
Compared with patients in the fasting group, those in the heart-healthy diet group had significantly more satisfaction with the preprocedural diet. Patients in the heart-healthy diet group had less thirst and hunger before and after the procedure. No patients experienced pneumonia, aspiration, intubation, or hypoglycemia after the procedure. Fatigue, glucose level, gastrointestinal issues, and loading dose of antiplatelet medication did not differ between the groups.
Allowing patients to eat before elective cardiac catheterization posed no safety risk and benefited patient satisfaction and overall care. The results of this study may help identify best practice for allowing patients to eat before elective procedures using conscious sedation.