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NEW Fast-Track Giant Cell Arteritis Clinic

A Fast-Track Giant Cell Arteritis Clinic has been created by Bill Frederiksen, one of Hauora a Toi’s new rheumatology consultants.

 The aim of the service is to provide fast-track assessment of patients with suspected giant cell arteritis (GCA). The patient will be assessed by a rheumatologist within 1-4 days. This will include a bedside vascular ultrasound for GCA, which is less invasive and provides more rapid diagnosis than temporal artery biopsy in some situations. However, the rheumatologist can refer the patient for temporal artery biopsy if necessary.
You can find the BPAC eReferral form under: BOPDHB – Public, Medical, Rheumatology - Fast Track Giant Cell Arteritis Clinic.
If your patient has visual symptoms, please also refer them acutely to ophthalmology via: BOPDHB – Public, Surgical, Ophthalmology (Park Street).
This service covers both WBOP and EBOP where the patient is able to attend Tauranga Hospital for the fast-track appointment. It generally supersedes the previous temporal artery biopsy referral/pathway. However, if the patient is in EBOP and is unable to travel to Tauranga, use the historic process instead for the time being (transport options are being considered):
EBOP, patient with visual symptoms, unable to travel to Tauranga fast-track clinic – speak to APU SMO (via switchboard 07 579 8044) or duty rheumatologist to discuss request. If approved, acutely refer patient to Dr David Langston (or WHK surgeon on-call if Dr Langston unavailable) via telephone call to Whakatane Hospital (07 579 8044).
EBOP, patient without visual symptoms, unable to travel to Tauranga fast-track clinic – refer to general surgery via BPAC eReferral form. Mark as ‘urgent’.

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