Aspiration is a rare complication of procedural sedation [3,5].

There is a paucity of evidence to make an absolute recommendation regarding minimum fasting times prior to procedural sedation; however the following principles should be borne in mind:

  • Protective airway reflexes are more likely to be impaired with deep sedation, making aspiration more likely in the event of regurgitation
  • In circumstances where life or limb are not threatened, a procedure may be delayed to ensure safer sedation without altering the clinical outcome. It is recommended that the fasting guidelines for anaesthesia are followed, namely 2 hours for clear fluids and 6 hours for anything else.