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Paediatric Surgery

+ Emergency

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.

Paediatric surgery registrars at LCCH and GCUH can offer telephone advice to rural HHS. In some areas it would be more appropriate to seek initial advice from local paediatric medical service or general surgery services:

    • LCCH: 07 3068 1111

    • GCUH: 1300 744 284


NB All major burns require emergency management and referral

  • Acute burns injury (ANZBA guidelines)
  • Any new burn in a child: with comorbidities; who is under 6 months age; is febrile or unwell
  • Any burn injury irrespective of size or depth not healed in 1 week
  • Ingested caustic and acid substances and batteries
  • Ingested foreign bodies causing distress

 Antenatal & neonatal surgical conditions

  • Patients with congenital malformations causing bowel obstruction or respiratory compromise are emergency referrals not outpatients. Resuscitation and safe transfer to tertiary paediatric unit is a priority. Notify neonatal unit or appropriate neonatal/paediatric medical specialist of neonatal/fetal diagnosis as per local protocol.
  • Acute neonatal bowel obstruction

Enlarged lymph nodes

  • Acute infective node with no improvement within 48 hours
  • Nodes rapidly increasing in size, overlying skin erythema or very tender

  • Acute infection not responding to treatment/antibiotics

Umbilical and peri umbilical pathology

  • Any painful, red, or irreducible hernia – discuss with on-call paediatric surgical registrar
  • Suspected vitello-intestinal remnant or patent urachus

 Abdominal pain – chronic

  • Acute abdominal pain (suspected serious pathology) especially peritonitis
  • Intussusception
  • Hypertrophic pyloric stenosis
  • Suspected bowel obstruction with bile stained vomiting
  • Suspected malignancy – discuss with on-call paediatric surgical registrar if serious pathology is suspected

 Acute abscess

  • Bile stained vomiting is a surgical emergency – phone the on-call paediatric surgical registrar,
  • Suspected pyloric stenosis – phone the on-call paediatric surgical registrar

Stomas and abdominal devices

  • Accidental removal of gastrostomy button or ACE tubing – phone on-call paediatric surgical registrar
  • Any stomal or abdominal device issues refer to treating hospital

Hernia, hydrocele and testicular conditions

  • Irreducible, incarcerated or strangulated inguinal hernia
  • Suspected testicular torsion
  • Inguinal hernia: If under <52 weeks post conceptual age, call nearest paediatric surgical unit for urgent review
  • Acute scrotal pain with or without swelling
  • Ambiguous genitalia and neonatal bilateral undescended testes are urgent referrals to service

Renal and bladder congenital lesions

  • Acute retention
  • Poor urinary stream in neonate / suspected valves

Severe pain or peritonitis

  • Acute infection requiring admission or drainage

Urinary tract infections (UTI)

  • Acute infant urinary tract infection presenting septicaemia or acutely unwell
  • Hypertension > 97 percentile for age and/or height
  • Presumed UTI in infant <3 months

Penile conditions

  • Paraphimosis (when unable to replace foreskin)
  • Disorder of sexual development (DSD) – refer to paediatric surgeon or paediatric medicine immediately

Skin and soft tissue masses

  • Acute infection - If unresponsive to treatment or acutely unwell from infection
  • Suspected solid paediatric tumours should be urgently referred through local paediatric medical service and/or paediatric oncology services

Vascular anomlaies/haemangioma

  • Obstruction of vision, airway compromise, uncontrolled bleeding, ulceration, suspected  kapsiform haemangioendothelioma (KHE) or cardiac output compromise  - contact paediatric surgical registrar on call

+ Urgent referrals

To request an urgent outpatient appointment, please phone the Ipswich hospital’s switchboard on 3810 1111 and ask to speak to the Paediatric Registrar on-call.

All Paediatric Surgery is to be referred to Lady Cilento Children's Hospital.

Please note this is not an exhaustive list of all conditions for outpatient services and does not exclude consideration for referral unless specifically stipulated in the CPC out of scope section. 

These links will redirect to Statewide referral criteria, for referral information for Lady Cilento Chrildren's Hospital, please click here.

+ Out of scope services

The following are not routinely provided in a public Paediatric Surgery service.

  • Cosmetic not related to congenital anomalies/abnormalities
  • Conditions of the mature breast
  • Circumcisions social/religious reasons

+ 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

West Moreton Health is responsible for providing a public health service to people who reside within its catchment area. To appropriately manage demand for service we do not accept referrals from outside this catchment area. If your patient does live outside the West Moreton Health area and it is deemed socially or clinically necessary for their care to be received in the West Moreton Health Service, inclusion of information regarding their particular medical and/or social factors will assist with the triaging of your referral.


To provide feedback about contents on this website or general referral questions please email or phone 3413 7402.

Last updated: Thursday, December 20, 2018

Sending referrals

Secure messaging via –

Medical Objects ID: RQ402900084

Post: PO Box 3474 South Brisbane Qld 4101 f: 1300 407 281 e: (Queensland Health staff only)

Named referrals

If you would like to send a named referral, please address it to the specialist on the referral template, who will allocate a suitably qualified specialist to see the patient.

From July 1 2017 Commonwealth growth funding has been capped. This changes how WMHS can fund its growth as an organisation. Named referrals from GP’s help support hospital funding through a Medicare bulk-billing arrangement. The new federal funding model incorporates specific pricing for patients which removes concerns around ‘double dipping'. This benefits hospital and patient services.

Patient must bring

  • Medicare card
  • Any concession cards (e.g. Pension, Health Care, DVA, PBS Safety Net, ADF, etc)