COPD

Availability

North South North West Statewide

Pre-referral work-up

History

All referrals should comply with the Referral Standards and specifically include:

  • Smoking and occupational history
  • Immunisation status
  • Functional status
  • Current and past medications

Patients with COPD where there are the following concerns may be referred:

  • Diagnostic uncertainty
  • Unusual symptoms e.g. haemoptysis
  • Rapid decline in FEV1
  • Moderate to severe COPD
  • Cor Pulmonale
  • Respiratory failure and assessment for supplemental oxygen
  • Assessment for pulmonary rehabilitation
  • Assessment for lung transplantation
  • Patients with frequent exacerbations
  • Bullous lung disease
  • COPD in patients less than 40 years of age
  • Assessment for lung volume reduction procedures

Tests

  • Office based spirometry, if available
  • Chest x-ray
  • Sputum microscopy, culture and sensitivity

Interim/GP management

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

To refer a patient with this condition, please see the Respiratory and Sleep Medicine Clinic page for the full referral process and templates.

Refer to the COPDX guidelines

  1. Confirm diagnosis
  2. Optimise function
  3. Prevent deterioration
  4. Develop support
  5. Manage exacerbations

See Health Pathways - COPD page

For more information please see the Tasmanian Health Pathways website.

Emergency

Acute exacerbations of COPD with respiratory failure

COPD with respiratory failure

Urgent / category 1

Worsening cor pulmonale

Semi-urgent / category 2

Recurrent presentations to ED

Significant co-morbidities

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

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.

Patients with suspected lung cancer will be seen within one week.

Urgent referrals should be accompanied by a phone call to the Respiratory Department and/or the relevant doctor for urgent assessment and referral faxed to the Respiratory Department as well (03) 6173 0462.

Semi-urgent:

We will endeavour to see these patients within 12 weeks.

Routine:

Next available appointment.