Eating Heart-Healthy Diet Before Cardiac Catheterization Is Safe

In HealthDay News
by Healthday

No increased risk for complications found, challenging traditional fasting protocols

By Elana Gotkine HealthDay Reporter

TUESDAY, Jan. 2, 2024 (HealthDay News) — For patients undergoing elective cardiac catheterization, eating a heart-healthy diet prior to the procedure poses no safety risk, according to a study published online Jan. 1 in the American Journal of Critical Care.

Carri Woods, R.N., from the Parkview Heart Institute in Fort Wayne, Indiana, and colleagues conducted a prospective randomized controlled study involving a convenience sample of 197 patients undergoing elective cardiac catheterization at a regional heart institute to identify best practices for fasting requirements before cardiac catheterization. Patients were randomly allocated into two groups: Those in the heart-healthy diet group could eat a specified diet with low-acid options until the scheduled procedure, while those in the fasting group were restricted to nothing by mouth after midnight apart from sips of water until the scheduled procedure.

The researchers found that patients in the heart-healthy diet group had significantly more satisfaction with the preprocedural diet compared with patients in the fasting group. Before and after the procedure, less thirst and hunger were reported by patients in the heart-healthy diet group. After the procedure, no patients experienced pneumonia, aspiration, intubation, or hypoglycemia. The groups did not differ in fatigue, glucose level, gastrointestinal issues, or loading dose of antiplatelet medication.

“The results of this study provide initial evidence that allowing patients to eat before elective cardiac catheterization is safe,” the authors write. “This study should guide practices for fasting protocols across organizations and has changed the practice at our organization for inpatients and outpatients.”

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