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Original Research

Open Access

Community's knowledge and attitude of pre-operative fasting in kingdom of Saudi Arabia, 2022

  • Kareemah Salem Alshurtan1,*,
  • Ruba Mustafa Elsaid2
  • Abdulaziz Khalid Alabdulaali3
  • Wjood Fahad Alanazi4
  • Raghad Fahad Alruwaili4

1Department of Internal Medicine, Collage of Medicine, Ha’il University, 55476 Hail, Saudi Arabia

2Department of Pathology, Collage of Medicine, Ha’il University, 55476 Hail, Saudi Arabia

3Department of Anesthesia, Almoosa Spacilest hospital, 36342 Alhasa, Saudi Arabia

4Collage of Medicine, Ha’il University, 55476 Hail, Saudi Arabia

DOI: 10.22514/sv.2023.106 Vol.19,Issue 6,November 2023 pp.127-136

Submitted: 26 February 2023 Accepted: 10 April 2023

Published: 08 November 2023

*Corresponding Author(s): Kareemah Salem Alshurtan E-mail:


To reduce the risk of pulmonary aspiration, fasting before general anesthesia is essential. Studies reported that despite that traditional “NPO (nothing by mouth) after midnight” regulations are being liberalized, noncompliance with NPO status is still a threat to patient safety and may result in delays of elective surgical procedures, reduce the efficiency of ambulatory surgery setting, and compromise patient safety. This study aimed to assess the community’s knowledge of preoperative fasting, as well as their attitudes toward preoperative fasting in Saudi Arabia.This is a cross-sectional study conducted among the Saudi general population. A self-administered questionnaire was distributed among the targeted population using an online surgery. The questionnaire includes socio-demographic data (i.e., age, gender, education, etc.) and a 12-item questionnaire to measure the knowledge and attitude toward preoperative fasting. The result of 4257 participants was recruited, 67.2% were females and 39.3% were aged between 18 to 24 years old. The prevalence of participants who had surgery that required anesthesia was 48.9%. The overall mean knowledge score was 4.80 (standard deviation (SD) 2.36) out of 12 points. 60.1% were considered poor knowledge, 38.3% were moderate and only 1.6% were considered good knowledge levels. Factors associated with increased knowledge were being older in age, female gender, living in Northern Region, and having undergone surgery that required anesthesia. The level of knowledge among the general population regarding the importance of fasting before the surgery was inadequate. Older females who were living in the Northern Region and who previously received general anesthesia during their previous operation were more likely to demonstrate better knowledge about preoperative fasting as compared to the rest of the groups. More research is needed to determine the level of understanding of the community toward the importance of fasting before surgical intervention.


Fasting; Preoperative; Knowledge; Attitude; Surgical intervention; Anesthesia

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Kareemah Salem Alshurtan,Ruba Mustafa Elsaid,Abdulaziz Khalid Alabdulaali,Wjood Fahad Alanazi,Raghad Fahad Alruwaili. Community's knowledge and attitude of pre-operative fasting in kingdom of Saudi Arabia, 2022. Signa Vitae. 2023. 19(6);127-136.


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