What Do The Diagnosis Codes 708.79 And V70.0 Mean?


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The diagnosis code 708.79 is used to represent patients who have Urticaria - a transient vascular reaction involving the upper dermis, representing local edema that is caused by dilation as well as the development of wheals and increased permeability of the capillaries. It is often caused by an allergic reaction to insect bites, food or drugs, and can be described as an itchy skin eruption. The number after the decimal point refers to the type of Urticaria it is, and .79 is categorized as ‘other’.

Diagnosis code V70.7, however, means that the patient is a person on the outside of a bus who has been injured in a collision with a pedestrian or animal in a traffic accident. This code can then be broken down into three sub-codes: V70.7XXA (initial encounter), V70.7XXD (subsequent encounter) and V70.7XXS (sequela).

Diagnosis codes are used in healthcare to group and identify diseases, disorders, medical signs and symptoms as well as to measure morbidity and mortality. Each code carries the information for a very specific incident and they are frequently revised to ensure any new medical breakthroughs are recorded and included.

The International Statistical Classification of Diseases and Related Health Problems, ICD, system is one of the most commonly used and covers a huge variety of external causes of injury, signs and symptoms, complaints, social circumstances and abnormal findings. It can also be used to represent mental health and behavioural problems. Published by the World Health Organization, the ICD system is used worldwide and is currently in its 10th editionm with the 11th edition due to be implemented in 2014. It is used to help collate world statistics alongside automated decision-making and reimbursement systems. As the original revisions of the ICD did not include codes for operative or diagnostic procedures, other countries have developed their own adaptations of the system.

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