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 rhinosinusitis with concerning features:
    • visual disturbance/signs
    • neurological signs
    • frontal nasal swelling
    • severe unilateral or bilateral headache
    • periorbital erythema or swelling
  • foreign body for example button batteries **urgent review**
  • periorbital cellulitis
    • with/without swelling
    • with/without sinusitis
  • septal haematoma
  • severe/persistent epistaxis
  • trauma

Please contact the on-call registrar to discuss your concerns prior to referral.

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

If clinical advice is required urgently or out of hours, please contact Flinders Medical Centre or the Women’s and Children’s Hospital.

Northern Adelaide Local Health Network

Southern Adelaide Local Health Network

Women's and Children's Health Network

Category 1 (appointment clinically indicated within 30 days)

  • unilateral nasal obstruction with offensive and/or bloody discharge

Category 2 (appointment clinically indicated within 90 days)

  • nil

Category 3 (appointment clinically indicated within 365 days)

  • allergic rhinitis failed first-line medical management
  • rhinorrhoea or nasal obstruction with failed first-line medical management or septal deviation with nasal obstruction

For more on outpatient referrals, see the general referral information page.

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  
  • identify within your referral if you feel your patient is from a vulnerable population, under guardianship/out-of-home care arrangements and/or requires a third party to receive correspondence on their behalf
  • interpreter required
  • age
  • past medical/surgical history
  • current medications
  • allergies and sensitivities
  • onset, duration, and progression of symptoms
  • management history including treatments trialled/implemented prior to referral, including systemic and topical medications prescribed
  • nasal obstruction if relevant
  • nasal discharge/post-nasal drip
  • facial/periorbital/frontal pain or headaches
  • disturbance of smell and taste
  • persistent symptoms:
    • more than 8 weeks
    • recurrent (more than 3) episodes in 12 months

If allergic rhinitis suspected

  • complete blood examination (CBE)
  • immunoglobulin E (IgE)
  • radioallergosorbent test (RAST)

Additional information to assist triage categorisation

  • relevant diagnostic/imaging reports including location of company and accession number