Does fasting indicate NPO?

  1. just confused with this one guys....sometimes i encounter in the book the sentence

    "Fasting for 8 hours to 12 hours" or something like that and i have to question it....whats the difference of Fasting and then NPO? does Fasting indicate no food but its ok to drink fluids? if its the same then why not just put NPO instead of fasting? confusing for me lol...hope you can help guys thanks
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  2. 11 Comments

  3. by   Mike R
    At the hospitals I've been to, they've pretty much been used interchangeably.
  4. by   jnick31
    NPO is an abbreviation for "Non Per Os" it is latin for "nothing by mouth"
  5. by   neil890123
    Quote from jnick31
    NPO is an abbreviation for "Non Per Os" it is latin for "nothing by mouth"

    yup i know that......question is...is it the same as the word Fasting? or is it different? why use Fasting when you can use NPO instead? so maybe fasting has another differentiation...just maybe
  6. by   NP Sam
    Good question. Isn't fasting blood glucose mean they haven't eaten? I also see it used interchangeably but I'm not sure. Be careful though. Someone told me they were fasting, and when I asked how long they said " I have been fasting from fast food for two weeks." Just saying.
  7. by   CuriousMe
    Fasting just means their abstaining from something. If I saw an order about Fasting, I would ask whomever wrote it what they meant....or look and see if there was a P&P about Fasting in the hospital.

    As to whether your hospital considers the term Fasting to mean food and liquid...well, only folks in your hospital would know.
  8. by   NursBren
    I totally understand the confusion...I asked this same question to a RN friend of mine a while back that worked in a physicians office and she said that the doctor told her that she could have liquids if fasting for lab work (black coffee or water only) nothing else.
  9. by   jnick31
    Quote from neil890123
    yup i know that......question is...is it the same as the word Fasting? or is it different? why use Fasting when you can use NPO instead? so maybe fasting has another differentiation...just maybe
    Sorry, I didn't explain very well. I agree with the others, check with the P&P in your facility. But no, I don't believe you are NPO if you are fasting. example: when they to a GTT you are fasting but you can still drink water because water won't effect the outcome of the test. (at least you can in my facility) If a Dr were to order a "8hr fast" or something like that prior to a surgery, I would clarify with them and take a verbal NPO order if that's what they really want.
  10. by   Jonathank
    I'd say generally, fasting involves no caloric intake- H20 only. But as others have pointed out, your school or facility may define it differently.
  11. by   neil890123
    Thanks for the reply guys yup its really confusing.....still im preparing for NCLEX now and reading saunders 4th edition...sometimes they say fasting in the book and sometimes NPO so i thought that they may have different meanings....thanks maybe fasting here really indicates no food only.... thank you guys
  12. by   all4ofus
    I just came across a statement in Iggy that differentiates:

    "The patient must fast (water only) for 8 to 10 hours before the test and be NPO for the first 2 hours of the testing."

    Hope this helps clarify!
  13. by   ashhajdu
    Fasting -the patient is given nothing to eat for 8-10 hours before the specimen to be tested is collected; the patient may have water.
    NPO-means nothing by mouth - food or fluid - after midnight.
    Hope this helps

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