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Anaesthesia (Department of Anaesthesia, Pain and Hyperbaric Medicine)


The Anaesthesia service at the Royal Adelaide Hospital is a 24-hour perioperative service encompassing pre-anaesthesia assessment, intraoperative anaesthesia, and acute pain management.

The RAH has a reputation as one of the country’s leading teaching anaesthetic departments and our experienced team of full-time and part time specialist anaesthetists provide quality patient care.

The Anaesthesia service supports more than 20,000 patients undergoing surgery and other procedures at the RAH each year.

Anaesthesia services are provided in the Technical Suite (operating theatres) for patients undergoing procedures across a diverse range of specialties, including oral and maxillofacial surgery, neurosurgery, plastic, reconstructive and craniofacial surgery, cardiothoracic surgery, burns therapy, thoracic medicine and interventional cardiology.

Anaesthetists cover the hospital’s emergency theatres through anaesthesia and pre-operative assessment, immediate post-operative care and attendance at Level 1 trauma calls.

The Anaesthesia service provides for emergency and elective operating lists.

Outside of the Technical Suite, Anaesthesia services are delivered in the Emergency Department, Hyperbaric Medicine Unit, Acute Pain Service, Chronic Pain Unit, CVIU, Radiology, Endoscopy Suite, Thoracic Medicine Unit and Brachytherapy Unit.

Services are also provided to public patients undergoing robotic surgery at St Andrew’s Hospital, those requiring ECT at Glenside Health Services and for patients at the Port Augusta Hospital and Port Pirie Regional Health Service.

Pain medicine

We provide an integrated inpatient Acute Pain Service (APS) and an outpatient Pain Management Unit (PMU).

The APS provides a 24 hours a day, seven days a week consultative clinical service for inpatients with acute pain.

The PMU delivers chronic pain management services to local patients, country South Australia and the Northern Territory. This includes consultation, multidisciplinary team (MDT) assessment and treatment as appropriate. Treatment may include procedures performed under sedation in the Technical Suite.

Outpatient clinics

The Anaesthesia service provides 25 outpatient clinics per week staffed by consultants and registrars.

A significant number of patients undergo a review in the Pre-operative Assessment Clinic (POAC) prior to presenting for surgery.

The clinic aims to optimise the patient’s medical condition, provide information about the anaesthetic and develop a plan for the procedure and post anaesthetic care.

Patients who are not seen in the clinic receive their anaesthetic consultation on the day of their surgery.

The POAC also provides follow-up assessment of patients and their investigations.

As well as a comprehensive pre-anaesthetic assessment clinic, outpatient services are provided for patients referred with chronic pain conditions.

Hyperbaric Medicine Unit

The Hyperbaric Medicine Unit is also run by the Department of Anaesthesia, Pain and Hyperbaric Medicine.

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