Direct to an appropriate emergency department for:

  • Abscess or haematoma (e.g. peritonsillar abscess or quinsy)
  • Acute tonsillitis with:
    • difficulty in breathing
    • unable to tolerate oral intake
    • uncontrolled fever.
  • Post-operative tonsillar haemorrhage.

Criteria for referral to public hospital specialist clinic services

  • Chronic or recurrent infection with fever or malaise and decreased oral intake and any of the following:
    • four or more episodes in the last 12 months
    • six or more episodes in the last 24 months
    • tonsillar concretions with halitosis
    • absent from work or studies for four or more weeks in a year.
  • Suspicious unilateral tonsillar solid mass with or without ear pain.

Information to be included in the referral

Information that must be provided:

  • History of tonsillitis episodes and response to treatment
  • If the patient is taking anticoagulant, or any other medicine that may reduce coagulation, or if there is a family history of coagulation disorder.

Provide if available:

Not applicable.

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

  • If the patient is not willing to have surgical treatment
  • Halitosis without other symptoms.