Obstructive sleep apnoea (ENT)

Emergency and immediate referrals

Referral to Emergency Department

If any of the following are present or suspected, please refer the patient to the emergency department (via ambulance if necessary) or seek emergency medical advice if in a remote region:

  • Nil

Immediately contact on-call registrar or service to arrange an immediate ENT assessment (seen within 7 days) for:

  • Nil

To contact relevant service, please see HealthPathways: Acute ENT Assessment

Presenting issues

Obstructive sleep apnoea with:

  • Nasal obstruction
  • Macroglossia
Mandatory referral information (referral will be returned if this information is not included)


  • Details of previous treatment and outcome i.e. failed CPAP


  • BMI


  • Sleep study report
  • Recent polysomnography (PSG) results

If unable to attach reports, please include relevant information/findings in the body of the referral

Referrer to state reason if not able to include mandatory information in referral (e.g. patient unable to access test due to geographical location or financial cost)

Highly desirable referral information
  • Epworth Sleepiness Scale results
Indicative triage category
Indicative triage category
Category 1
Appointment within 30 days
  • No defined category 1 criteria
Category 2
Appointment within 90 days
  • No defined category 2 criteria
Category 3
Appointment within 365 days
  • Upper airway obstruction due to tonsillar hypertrophy
  • Moderate to severe symptoms (e.g. Epworth Sleepiness Scale > 15) and a positive sleep study
  • Failure of CPAP therapy due to patient anatomical factors e.g. nasal obstruction/deviated septum, tongue size/upper airway anatomy, mandibular anatomy
Last reviewed: 02-10-2023