Dyspnoea (undifferentiated breathlessness)
North South North West Statewide
All referrals should comply to the referral standards and in particular include:
- Smoking status
- Co morbidities and past history
- Current and past medications
- General medical history including risk factors for coronary disease, thromboembolic disease
- Description of the provoking and relieving factors and accompanying symptoms
Pulse oximetry may be useful, hypoxaemia in a patient with dyspnoea indicates significant disease.
Initial helpful tests include:
- FBE, UEC, LFT
- Office based spirometry if possible
To refer a patient with this condition, please see the Respiratory and Sleep Medicine clinic page for the full referral process and templates.
- Initial/interim management will depend on the suspected underlying pathology
- A trial of inhaled therapy would be appropriate if asthma or COPD is confirmed on lung function testing
- Smoking Cessation program
- Direct link to Health Pathways Dyspnoea page
For more information please see the Tasmanian Health Pathways website.
Severe dyspnoea and hypoxemia with associated symptoms eg confusion
Urgent / category 1
Uncertain diagnosis with severe symptoms
Red flags are clinical indicators of possible serious underlying conditions requiring further medical intervention. They may or may not indicate an emergency.
Quit advice http://www.quit.org.au/
Proceed to Emergency Department (ED). Please contact ED Medical Officer in Charge:
LGH ED – Phone: (03) 6777 6405 Fax: (03) 6348 7382
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
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
We will endeavour to see these patients within 12 weeks.
Next available appointment.