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  Emergency referrals

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.

Chest pain


  • Suspected acute coronary syndrome
  • Suspected pulmonary embolism or aortic dissection
  • Suspected or confirmed endocarditis, myocarditis or pericarditis
  • Suspected ischaemic chest pain within 24 hours with any of the following concerning features:
    • severe or ongoing chest pain
    • chest pain lasting ten minutes or more
    • chest pain that is new at rest or with minimal activity
    • chest pain that is associated with severe dyspnoea
    • chest pain that is associated with syncope / pre-syncope
    • chest pain that is associated with any of the following signs:
      • respiratory rate > 30 breaths per minute
      • tachycardia >120
      • systolic BP < 90mmHg
      • heart failure / suspected pulmonary oedema
      • ST elevation or depression
      • complete heart block
      • new left bundle branch block


  • Current chest pain with haemodynamic compromise

Atrial fibrillation

  • Atrial fibrillation / flutter with any of the following concerning features:
    • haemodynamic instability
    • shortness of breath
    • chest pain
    • syncope/pre syncope/dizziness
    • known Wolff-Parkinson-White
    • neurological deficit indicative of TIA/stroke

Heart failure

  • Acute or chronic heart failure with any of the following concerning features:
    • NYHA Class IV heart failure
    • ongoing chest pain
    • increasing shortness of breath
    • oxygen saturation < 90%
    • signs of acute pulmonary oedema
    • haemodynamic instability:
      • pre-syncope / syncope / severe dizziness
      • altered level of consciousness
      • heart rate > 120 beats per minute
      • systolic BP < 90mmHg
    • significant pulmonary or pedal oedema
    • recent myocardial infarction (within 2 weeks)
    • pregnant patient
    • signs of myocarditis
    • signs of acute decompensated heart failure


  • Hypertensive emergency (BP>220/140)
  • Severe hypertensive with systolic BP >180mmHg with any of the following concerning features:
    • headache
    • confusion
    • blurred vision
    • retinal haemorrhage
    • reduced level of consciousness
    • seizures
    • proteinuria
    • papilloedema
  • If suspected pregnancy induced hypertension or pre-eclampsia refer patient to the emergency department of a facility that offers obstetric services where possible.


Murmur (adult):

  • New murmur with any of the following concerning features:
    • haemodynamic instability
    • persistent or progressive shortness of breath (NYHA Class III – IV)
    • chest pain
    • syncope / pre-syncope / dizziness
    • neurological deficit indicative of TIA/stroke
    • abnormal ECG (e.g. LV hypertrophy, AF, LBBB, RBBB)
    • fever or constitutional symptoms suggestive of infection (eg endocarditis, acute rheumatic fever)
    • signs of heart failure

Murmur (paediatric):

  • Infant <3 months with newly noted murmur and any of the following concerning features:
    • poor feeding
    • slow weight gain
    • weak or absent femoral pulses
    • post ductal (foot) oxygen saturation < 95%
    • respiratory signs (wheeze, recession or tachypnoea)


  • Palpitations with any of the following concerning features:
    • chest pain
    • shortness of breath
    • loss of consciousness
    • syncope / pre-syncope
    • persisting tachyarrhythmia on ECG

Supraventricular tachycardia

  • Unresolved acute supraventricular tachycardia with any of the following concerning features:
    • syncope
    • severe dizziness
    • ongoing chest pain
    • increasing shortness of breath
    • hypotension
    • signs of cardiac failure
    • ventricular rate >120

Syncope / pre-syncope

  • Syncope with any of the following concerning features:
    • exertional onset
    • chest pain
    • persistent hypotension (systolic BP <90mmHg)
    • severe persistent headache
    • focal neurological deficits
    • preceded by or associated with palpitations
    • known ischaemic heart disease or reduced LV systolic function
    • associated with SVT or paroxysmal atrial fibrillation
    • pre-excited QRS (delta waves) on ECG
    • suspected malfunction of pacemaker or ICD
    • absence of prodrome
    • associated injury
    • occurs while supine or sitting


  • Pacemaker/ICD
    • delivery of 2 or more shocks by ICD in 24 hours
    • suspected pacemaker/defibrillator malfunction (with ECG evidence)
    • pacemaker/ICD device erosion
  • Bradycardia including any of the following:
    • symptomatic bradycardia
    • PR interval on ECG exceeding 300ms
    • second degree or complete heart block
  • Broad complex tachycardia
  • Suspected or confirmed endocarditis, myocarditis or pericarditis

Minimum referral criteria

All requests are categorised using state‑wide urgency criteria, condition‑specific as below.

Category 1 - Seen within 30 days

Category 2 - Seen within 90 days

Category 3 - Seen within 365 days

Information for cardiology referrals

Include the standard information (below), and relevant pathology and radiology results (printed for the patient and sent with the referral). Extra information is required for condition-specific referrals (see list above).

Standard information for all referrals

Reason for request

  • To establish a diagnosis
  • For treatment or intervention
  • For advice and management
  • For specialist to take over management
  • Reassurance for general practitioner or second opinion
  • For a specified test or investigation the general practitioner can't order, or the patient can't afford or access
  • Reassurance for the patient or family
  • For other reason (e.g., rapidly accelerating disease progression)
  • Clinical judgement indicates a referral for specialist review is necessary

Patient's demographic details

  • Full name (including aliases)
  • Date of birth
  • Residential and postal address
  • Phone contact numbers – home, mobile and alternative
  • Medicare number (where eligible)
  • Name of the parent or caregiver (if appropriate)
  • Preferred language and interpreter requirements
  • Identifies as Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Ask the patient their ethnicity

Referring practitioner details

  • Full name
  • Full address
  • Contact details – phone, fax, email
  • Provider number
  • Date of referral
  • Signature
  • Patient's usual general practitioner (if different from above)

Relevant clinical information about the condition

  • Inclusion of Clinical Prioritisation Criteria (CPC) where relevant
  • Presenting symptoms (evolution and duration)
  • Physical findings
  • Investigations carried out and results as indicated in the relevant pathway
  • Details of previous treatment (including systemic and topical medications prescribed) including the course and outcome of the treatment
  • Options already pursued
  • Body mass index (BMI)
  • Details of any associated medical conditions which may affect the condition or its treatment (e.g. diabetes), noting these must be stable and controlled prior to referral
  • Current medications and dosages
  • Drug allergies
  • Alcohol, tobacco and other drugs use

Clinical modifiers

  • Impact on employment
  • Impact on education
  • Impact on home
  • Impact on activities of daily living
  • Impact on ability to care for others
  • Impact on personal frailty or safety
  • Identifies as Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander

Other relevant information

  • Willingness to have surgery (where surgery is a likely intervention)
  • Choice to be treated as a public or private patient
  • Compensable status (e.g., DVA, WorkCover, motor vehicle insurance)

Information for your patient

Expected time frame for appointment notifications

  • Once the request is received, categorisation by the hospital will occur.
  • General practitioners and patients are notified of the assigned category between 14 days to 1 month after completed request is received.
  • Patients are usually notified of the upcoming appointment time and date approximately 4 weeks prior unless short notice appointments become available.

Appointment information

  • Patients will be given an appointment via phone, SMS, or letter.
  • The patient must contact the hospital to reschedule if they are not able to attend.
  • If the patient fails to respond to 2 appointment offers:
    • They will be discharged back to their general practitioner.
    • They can have a new request for assessment sent to the hospital if the need still exists.
  • The patient's first appointment may not always be with a specialist. Where appropriate, the request may be sent to a public allied health or nursing service for initial assessment and management. A specialist assessment may then be arranged or ruled out.

Ask your patient to:

  • take a list of current medications, and all relevant radiology films and reports to appointments.
  • advise of any change in circumstance (e.g., getting worse or becoming pregnant), as this may affect the request for assessment.
  • update their contact details (e.g., phone number and address) with the hospital.
Last updated: 24 January 2020

Send referral

Specialist Outpatient Department

Fax: 1300 017 155

CQ Fracture/urgent referrals
Fax: (07) 4920 7242

Named referrals

If you would like to send a named referral, please address it to a specialist listed below.


  • Dr Rajesh Garg
  • Dr Ramachandran Kannan
  • Dr Sam Sidharta

> view all CQ Health specialists

Service advice

Rockhampton – Nurse Unit Manager
Phone: (07) 4920 6440

Phone: (07) 4976 3169.


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