Iron Deficiency Anaemia (IDA)

The Department will periodically contact patients waiting for an outpatient clinic appointment via SMS, with a link to an electronic form.  This is part of routine waitlist auditing to ensure patient details are up to date.  If you receive this SMS, please update your details.


North South North West Statewide

Pre-referral work-up


All referrals should comply to referral standards and include in particular:

  • Family history of gastrointestinal cancer
  • Menstrual history
  • Dietary iron history



  • LFT
  • FBC
  • U&E
  • Iron studies
  • Coeliac disease serology results (only for pre-menopausal and Paed pts)


Any relevant



Interim/GP management

To refer a patient with this condition, please see the Gastroenterology clinic page for the full referral process and templates.

Recommended pre-referral treatment

Lifestyle Changes: If dietary, modify diet and/or refer to dietician.

Medical Management:  Establish and treat the cause e.g. Menorrhagia, dietary.

Treatment with oral iron prior to referral:

  • Preparations with elemental iron 80mg-325mg per tab are absorbed better if taken with vitamin C 50mg
  • Take one tablet daily of iron + vitamin C and in the presence of anaemia continue for 3 months after haemoglobin has been corrected to replenish stores

Treat constipation and warn of iron effects on stool.

For more information please see the Tasmanian Health Pathways website.


Potentially life threatening symptoms suggestive of:

  • acute upper GI tract bleeding
  • acute severe lower GI tract bleeding
  • oesophageal foreign bodies/food bolus
  • bowel obstruction
  • abdominal sepsis
  • Acute Severe Colitis - see note

Severe vomiting and/or diarrhoea with dehydration
Acute/fulminant liver failure (to be referred to a centre with dedicated hepatology services
Biliary sepsis (to be referred to a centre with ERCP service)

Note - Acute severe colitis as defined by the Truelove and Witts criteria – all patients with ≥ 6 bloody bowel motions per 24 hours plus at least one of the following:

  • temperature at presentation of > 37.8°C,
  • pulse rate at presentation of > 90 bpm,
  • haemoglobin at presentation of < 105 gm/l, CRP >30mg/dl at presentation (or ESR > 30 mm/hr)

Urgent / category 1

Iron deficiency anaemia (IDA) or iron deficiency (below the lower limit of the laboratory reference) with any of the following concerning features – select any that apply:

  • no obvious cause
  • persisting despite correction of potential causative factors
  • weight loss ≥5% of body weight in previous 6 months
  • mass palpable on abdominal or rectal examination
  • positive faecal occult blood test (iFOBT) if asymptomatic

Semi-urgent / category 2

Iron deficiency without any concerning features (as above).

Red flags are clinical indicators of possible serious underlying conditions requiring further medical intervention. They may or may not indicate an emergency.

Gastroenterological Society of Australia resources:


Proceed to Emergency Department (ED).
LGH ED Reception  – Phone: (03) 6777 6405  Fax: (03) 6777 5201
MCH ED* – Phone: (03) 6478 5120  Fax: (03) 6441 5923
NWRH ED* – Phone: (03) 6493 6351 Fax: (03) 6464 1926
RHH ED Reception – Phone: (03) 6166 6100  Fax: (03) 6173 0489

Advice for medical practitioners can be given by the Medical Officer In Charge (MOIC) - see HealthPathways Tasmania for contact information.
*MCH and NWRH MOICs request GPs call them prior to referring a patient to ensure the patient is being sent appropriately to a safe destination.


We will endeavour to see these patients within four weeks

Urgent referrals should be accompanied by a phone call to the clinic and the relevant doctor for urgent assessment, or patient should be directed immediately to the Emergency Department.


We will endeavour to see these patients within 12 weeks


Next available appointment