Direct to an emergency department for:

  • Acute liver failure
  • Sepsis in a patient with cirrhosis
  • Severe hepatic encephalopathy
  • Severe ascites restricting movement and breathing.

Criteria for referral to public hospital specialist clinic services

  • Patients who are hepatitis C (HCV) RNA positive unable to be managed and treated in community-based services.

Information to be included in the referral

Information that must be provided

  • Hepatitis C virus serology, genotype and RNA results
  • Hepatitis B virus serology results
  • HIV serology results
  • Liver function tests including aspartate transaminase (AST)
  • Full blood examination
  • Upper abdominal ultrasound results
  • If pregnant, gestational age
  • Current and complete medication history (including non-prescription medicines, herbs and supplements).

Provide if available

  • Previous liver biopsy results
  • Details of previous medical management including the course of treatment and outcome of treatment
  • History of alcohol intake
  • History of injectable drug use, including if the patient is still injecting.

Additional comments

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

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

  • Hepatitis C should managed and treated through suitable community-based services wherever possible
  • Patients who are hepatitis C (HCV) RNA negative who are not at ongoing risk of cirrhosis.