How are patients prepped for cesarean delivery (C-section)?

Updated: Dec 14, 2018
  • Author: Hedwige Saint Louis, MD, MPH, FACOG; Chief Editor: Christine Isaacs, MD  more...
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On average, patients are asked not to eat anything for 12 hours prior to the procedure, which exceeds current guidelines. [12] The guidelines recommend a minimum preoperative fasting time of at least 2 hours from clear liquids, 6 hours from a light meal, and 8 hours from a regular meal. [11]

After arrival, an intravenous line is placed and IV fluids are infused. Preoperative lab samples are drawn. If a difficult procedure is anticipated with an increased risk for blood loss, cross-matched blood should be available for the start of the procedure. Intravenous fluid consists of either lactated Ringer solution or saline with 5% dextrose. The patient is placed on an external fetal monitor, and should be evaluated by the surgeon and the anesthesiologist.

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