When the patient undergoes general anesthesia, a tube is placed in the patient's airway. if the patient eats or has a full stomach at the time this is done, there is a risk that the food within the stomach was regurgitate and enter into the lungs. This would result in infection called pneumonia.
Keeping patients without food for at least six hours before general anesthesia has been shown to reduce this complication and is used as a safety measure for patient safety.
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It is recommended that all individuals see a Family Doctor for a full medical examination annually. Adults should get their blood pressure checked (US Preventive Task Force), a flu vaccine (CDC) and more each year.