Iron Deficiency Anaemia (IDA)

Availability

North South North West Statewide

Pre-referral work-up

History

All referrals should comply to referral standards and include in particular:

  • History of bleeding from any orifice, including menstrual history
  • Examination for abdominal and rectal masses
  • Past history of anaemia and the treatment
  • Family history and ethnicity
  • Smoking and alcohol history
  • Results of previous investigations

Tests

Initial work up:

  • FBE
  • Iron studies, B12, red cell folate
  • U&E, LFTs
  • CRP or ESR
  • Coeliac antibodies

Interim/GP management

To refer a patient with this condition, please see the Gastroenterology clinic page for the full referral process and templates.

Recommended pre-referral treatment

Lifestyle Changes: If dietary, modify diet and/or refer to dietician.

Medical Management:  Establish and treat the cause e.g. Menorrhagia, dietary.

Treatment with oral iron prior to referral:

  • Preparations with elemental iron 80mg-325mg per tab are absorbed better if taken with vitamin C 50mg
  • Take one tablet daily of iron + vitamin C and in the presence of anaemia continue for 3 months after haemoglobin has been corrected to replenish stores

Treat constipation and warn of iron effects on stool.

For more information please see the Tasmanian Health Pathways website.

Urgent / category 1

Severe symptomatic IDA with no obvious cause such as menorrhagia or dietary deficiency

When combined with at least one of the following alarm symptoms:

  • Overt GI bleeding
  • Abdominal pain
  • Change in bowel    function

Semi-urgent / category 2

New onset of  unexplained IDA

Routine / category 3

Long-standing IDA< 40 years of age with other potential causes for IDA (such as menorrhagia or dietary deficiency)

Red flags are clinical indicators of possible serious underlying conditions requiring further medical intervention. They may or may not indicate an emergency.

Gastroenterological Society of Australia resources:

Emergency:

Proceed to Emergency Department (ED). Please contact ED Medical Officer in Charge:
LGH ED – Phone: (03) 6777 6405  Fax: (03) 6777 5201
MCH ED – Phone: (03) 6478 5120  Fax: (03) 6441 5923
NWRH ED – Phone: (03) 6493 6340  Fax: (03) 6464 1926
RHH ED - Phone: (03) 6166 6100  Fax: (03) 6173 0489

Urgent:

We will endeavour to see these patients within four weeks

Urgent referrals should be accompanied by a phone call to the clinic and the relevant doctor for urgent assessment, or patient should be directed immediately to the Emergency Department.

Semi-urgent:

We will endeavour to see these patients within 12 weeks

Routine:

Next available appointment