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Rheumatology

Find assessment and management information on Rheumatology conditions at:

Emergency Immediate transfer to the Emergency Department

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

Rheumatoid Arthritis

  • Concerns for septic arthritis
  • Complications of disease or therapy requiring emergent review – systemically unwell

Peripheral Spondyloarthritis - Psoriatic arthritis and Reactive arthritis

  • Concerns for septic arthritis
  • Complications of disease or therapy requiring emergent review – systemically unwell

Axial Spondyloarthritis – Ankylosing Spondylitis

  • Concerns for septic arthritis
  • Complications of disease or therapy requiring emergent review – systemically unwell

Crystal Arthritis – Gout and CPPD (pseudogout)

  • Concerns for septic arthritis
  • Severe drug reaction to Allopurinol

Polymyalgia Rheumatica

  • Complications of disease or therapy requiring emergent review – systemically unwell

Connective Tissue Disease - SLE, Scleroderma, MCTD, Sjogren’s Syndrome and undifferentiated or overlap CTDs

  • Complications of disease or therapy requiring emergent review – systemically unwell

Myositis - polymyositis, dermatomyositis, CTD associated myositis and undifferentiated inflammatory myositis

  • Complications of disease or therapy requiring emergent review – systemically unwell

Vasculitis

  • Complications of disease or therapy requiring emergent review – systemically unwell

Giant Cell Arteritis/Temporal Arteritis

  • Presentation to ED if visual disturbance or loss
  • Complications of disease or therapy requiring emergent review

Are you referring to the right service?

Not all services are appropriate to be seen in the Queensland public health system.  Exceptions can always be made where clinically indicated.  It is proposed that the following are not routinely provided in a public Rheumatology service.

Urgent referrals Arranging urgent review

To arrange a very urgent review, please phone the relevant hospital’s switchboard and ask to speak to the Rheumatology Registrar on-call.

Out of scope services

Due to the current high demand for Metro South Health Rheumatology services for widespread pain, Metro South Health is unable to see patients with Fibromyalgia, Hypermobility/ Ehlers-Danlos syndrome, non-inflammatory back pain or Osteoarthritis. Metro South Health would appreciate General Practitioner’s assistance in managing patients with these conditions.

For management advice, please refer to the useful management information section on each condition page or search Brisbane South HealthPathways.
 

Notes

  • Please note that where appropriate and where available, the referral may be streamed to an associated public allied health and/or nursing service.  Access to some specific services may include initial assessment and management by associated public allied health and/or nursing, which may either facilitate or negate the need to see the public medical specialist.
  • A change in patient circumstance (such as condition deteriorating, or becoming pregnant) may affect the urgency categorisation and should be communicated as soon as possible.
  • 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.

Out of catchment

Metro South Health is responsible for providing public health services to the people who reside within its boundaries. Special consideration is made for patients requiring tertiary care or services that are not provided by their local Hospital and Health Service.  If your patient lives outside the Metro South Health area and you wish to refer them to one of our services, inclusion of information regarding their particular medical and social factors will assist with the triaging of your referral.

Last updated 25 January 2023