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How can I prevent pneumonia before surgery?

ANSWER

Follow your doctor's instructions about not eating or drinking before surgery. Usually, your doctor will tell you not to eat or drink after midnight the night before surgery. You must follow that advice. If you're going under anesthesia and still have food in your stomach, fluid or vomit may back up and get into your lungs. This can lead to one type of pneumonia called aspiration pneumonia.

SOURCES: 

Peter B. Angood, MD, vice president, chief patient safety officer, The Joint Commission, Oakbridge Terrace, Ill.; co-director, International Center for Patient Safety. 

Dale Bratzler, DO, MPH, medical director, Hospital Interventions Quality Improvement Organization Support Center (QIOSC), Oklahoma Foundation for Medical Quality, Oklahoma City. 

CDC web site: "Overview of Pneumonia in Healthcare Settings." 

Carolyn Clancy, MD, director, Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ), Department of Health and Human Services, Rockville, Md. 

Fran Griffin, RRT, MPA, director, Institute for Healthcare Improvement, Cambridge, Mass.

Reviewed by Nayana Ambardekar on June 14, 2020

SOURCES: 

Peter B. Angood, MD, vice president, chief patient safety officer, The Joint Commission, Oakbridge Terrace, Ill.; co-director, International Center for Patient Safety. 

Dale Bratzler, DO, MPH, medical director, Hospital Interventions Quality Improvement Organization Support Center (QIOSC), Oklahoma Foundation for Medical Quality, Oklahoma City. 

CDC web site: "Overview of Pneumonia in Healthcare Settings." 

Carolyn Clancy, MD, director, Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ), Department of Health and Human Services, Rockville, Md. 

Fran Griffin, RRT, MPA, director, Institute for Healthcare Improvement, Cambridge, Mass.

Reviewed by Nayana Ambardekar on June 14, 2020

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How can I reduce the risk of getting pneumonia from people around me?

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