Last reviewed 01/2018

Aspiration is the entry of material from the GI tract into the lungs. It particularly occurs during operations where supine posture and absence of protective reflexes predispose to it.

Measures to reduce aspiration include:

  • no oral intake for 6 hour prior to anaesthesia
  • preoperative gastric compression for emergency cases
  • preoperative administration of antacids / H2 blockers
  • cricoid pressure until intubation and cuff inflation is accomplished