Polycythemia (Elevated Haematocrit)
North South North West Statewide
Polycythemia is a primary or secondary phenomenon.
Secondary causes of polycythemia generally relate to smoking or other chronic lung pathologies. Consider referral to Respiratory Clinic for the primary condition.
Primary polycythemia (myeloproliferative neoplasm: polycythemia vera) should be considered in the presence of splenomegaly.
All referrals should comply to referral standards and include in particular:
- Relevant investigations, including previous results to assess temporal pattern
- Relevant clinical findings including splenomegaly
- Jak-2 (positive) and erythropoietin (low/low-normal) are useful blood tests to further investigate suspected primary polycythemia
(Jak-2 negative polycythemia is rare)
To refer a patient with this condition, please see the Haematology clinic page for the full referral process and templates.
Cessation to smoking.
For more information please see the Tasmanian Health Pathways website.
Red flags are clinical indicators of possible serious underlying conditions requiring further medical intervention. They may or may not indicate an emergency.
Proceed to Emergency Department (ED).
LGH ED Reception – Phone: (03) 6777 6405 Fax: (03) 6777 5201
MCH ED* – Phone: (03) 6478 5120 Fax: (03) 6441 5923
NWRH ED* – Phone: (03) 6493 6351 Fax: (03) 6464 1926
RHH ED Reception – Phone: (03) 6166 6100 Fax: (03) 6173 0489
Advice for medical practitioners can be given by the Medical Officer In Charge (MOIC) - see HealthPathways Tasmania for contact information.
*MCH and NWRH MOICs request GPs call them prior to referring a patient to ensure the patient is being sent appropriately to a safe destination.
Urgent Referrals generally need to be seen in the next one to two weeks
Please discuss these with the Haematology Registrar/Haematologist on call via switchboard on 6166 8308
Triaged by medical staff and generally seen in the next six to eight weeks
Triaged by medical staff and given the next available appointment