Referral to emergency

If any of the following are present or suspected, please refer the patient to the emergency department (via ambulance if necessary) or seek emergent medical advice if in a remote region.

  • acute or chronic HF with any red flags:
    • ongoing chest pain
    • increasing shortness of breath
    • oxygen saturation < 90%
    • signs of acute pulmonary oedema
    • pregnancy or peripartum
  • haemodynamic instability
  • pre-syncope/syncope/severe dizziness
  • altered level of consciousness
  • heart rate > 120 beats per minute (BPM)
  • systolic blood pressure (BP) < 90mmHg
  • significant pulmonary or pedal oedema
  • recent myocardial infarction (within 2 weeks)
  • signs of myocarditis
  • signs of acute decompensated HF

For clinical advice, please telephone the relevant metropolitan Local Health Network switchboard and ask to speak to the relevant specialty service.

Central Adelaide Local Health Network

Northern Adelaide Local Health Network

Southern Adelaide Local Health Network

Category 1 — appointment clinically indicated within 30 days

  • decompensated heart failure (HF) without red flags
  • new HF without red flags

Category 2 — appointment clinically indicated within 90 days

  • >medication titration for existing HF

Category 3 — appointment clinically indicated within 365 days

  • heart failure education

For information on referral forms and how to import them, please view general referral information.

Essential referral information

Completion required before first appointment to ensure patients are ready for care. Please indicate in the referral if the patient is unable to access mandatory tests or investigations as they incur a cost or are unavailable locally.

  • identifies as Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander
  • relevant social history, including identifying if you feel your patient is from a vulnerable population and/or requires a third party to receive correspondence on their behalf
  • interpreter requirements
  • description of symptoms, frequency, duration and risk factors
  • presence of red flag symptoms
  • alleviating interventions and management
  • complete medical history
  • details of previous treatments and outcomes
  • current medication and previous therapies including risk factor management
  • known allergies and sensitivities
  • complete blood examination (CBE)
  • urea, electrolytes and creatinine (UEC)
  • liver function tests (LFTs)
  • blood sugar levels
  • estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR)
  • fasting lipids
  • thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH)
  • haemoglobin A1c test (HbA1c)
  • electrocardiogram (ECG)
  • chest X-ray
  • blood pressure (BP)
  • weight/height and body mass index (BMI)

Clinical management advice

Patients who have been seen by a specialist cardiologist previously, are encouraged to be referred back to their care for further review.

Clinical resources

Consumer resources