High Risk Anaesthetic Clinic (HRAC )

HRAC is a clinic with an anaesthetist (specialist doctor with knowledge of medications for pain and surgery). This anaesthetist has a special interest in caring for pregnant women with a medical condition.


The HRAC is held every second Wednesday morning in the Women’s Health Clinic. Your obstetric doctor or midwife will refer you to the HRAC.

Women who have health problems that may complicate their pregnancy and childbirth are seen in HRAC. Some of the reasons you may need to be seen in the HRAC include:
  • obesity
  • backbone (spinal) problems
  • heart (cardiac) problems
  • lungs and breathing (respiratory) problems
  • blood (haematological) problems
  • nervous system (neurological) problems


HRAC anaesthetists provide important support in the pregnancy and childbirth of some women. This support includes:
  • preparing a plan for medications which are safe to use with your medical condition during labour and birth
  • pain relief options for labour and birth
  • preparing for anaesthesia with caesarean section.
  • discussion of any extra monitoring which may be required during or after your delivery


The HRAC anaesthetists provide you with help to plan the safest method of pain relief. The anaesthetist will consult with your obstetrician, midwife and other specialist doctors to make a plan for your care during the pregnancy and childbirth. It is important you understand the many ways to improve your health throughout your pregnancy.

What to bring to the HRAC:
  • Referral letters
  • X-rays and ultrasounds
  • Other Test results (including blood tests and lung function tests)


"Anaesthesia is the giving of medication that blocks feelings of pain or causes a deep state of sleep"