Direct to an emergency department for:

  • Sudden onset of inability to swallow
  • Inability to swallow
  • Swallowing problems accompanied by difficulty in breathing or stridor
  • Difficulty in swallowing caused by a foreign body or solid food.

Criteria for referral to public hospital specialist clinic services

  • Oropharyngeal or throat dysphagia with either:
    • hoarseness
    • progressive weight loss
    • history of smoking
    • excessive alcohol intake.
  • Progressively worsening oropharyngeal or throat dysphagia
  • Inability to swallow with drooling or pooling of saliva.

Information to be included in the referral

Information that must be provided

  • History of symptoms over time
  • History of smoking
  • History of excessive alcohol intake.

Provide if available

Not applicable.

Additional comments

The Summary and referral information lists the information that should be included in a referral request.

Referrals for oesophageal dysphagia should be directed to a gastroenterology service provided by the health service.

Where appropriate and available the referral may be directed to an alternative specialist clinic or service.

Referral to a public hospital is not appropriate for

Not applicable.