Dehydration ICD 10 Codes

In this article will discuss on Dehydration ICD 10 codes, guidelines with examples.

We use the term dehydration when there is very less amount of water content in the body. This can happen due to continuous or multiple times of nausea, vomiting or diarrhea. Lack of water in body affects normal body function. Heart rate and blood pressure gets decreased due to dehydration. We need to visit doctor if diarrhea occurs for more than 24 hours. If dehydration becomes very severe and not getting medical attention, this may lead to coma.

Symptoms and Tests:

Dehydration has symptoms like fatigue, dizziness, dry mouth and tongue, extreme thirst, dark coloured urine, sunken eyes and cheeks.

Performing physical exam and signs and symptoms are enough to diagnose dehydration for a physician. Blood test and urinalysis are done to find out the severity of dehydration such as mild, moderate or severe.

Dehydration ICD 10 Codes and guidelines:

Dehydration ICD 10 Codes are located in chapter 4 (endocrine nutritional and metabolic diseases, code range E00 – E89 and chapter 16 (conditions in perinatal period, code range P00-P96)

E86.0 – Dehydration

P74.1 – Dehydration in newborn (from birth to 28 days)

  • Dehydration of any severity or due to any reason is coded the same ICD code E86.0. For example dehydration due to radiation, mild, moderate or severe dehydration has only one code, E86.0.
  • Determining whether to code primary or secondary – Most of the times it is difficult to determine whether we need to assign dehydration primary or secondary because it is often caused by some other condition and at the same time dehydration itself needed severe management. Hence dehydration is coded primary if it is the chief problem to get the patient admitted for further management. If not, place dehydration secondary.

For example, there is an assumption that AKI(acute kidney injury) should be coded first when patient is admitted with AKI and dehydration. But as per guideline main reason for admission should be coded first. Provider can be queried if not mentioned clearly.

Below are few examples on coding dehydration.

Dehydration ICD 10 Code Scenario 1:

28 year old female presents to emergency department with abdominal pain and weakness for 2 days. Associated symptoms include diarrhea with loose watery stools, nausea and non bloody vomiting. Abdominal pain is sharp and exacerbated by movement. Patient has a past medical history (diverticulosis). Vitals showed fever of 101 degree. BP was low with reading of 100/65 mmHg. Physical examination showed left lower abdominal tenderness and tachycardia. Rectal exam does not show any mass or heme positive stool. Physician ordered for a blood test and stool test. He reviewed the results and diagnosed as gastroenteritis, mild dehydration and fatigue. Patient was admitted for further management of gastroenteritis.

ICD-10 codes for this scenario would be:

K52.9 – Gastroenteritis

E86.0 – Dehydration

R50.9 – Fever

R10.32 – LLQ abdominal pain

R00.0 – Tachycardia

Note: In this scenario patient is getting admitted for gastroenteritis management. As dehydration is mild, it can be managed on outpatient visits. Hence we coded gastroenteritis as primary followed by dehydration.

Dehydration ICD 10 Code Scenario 2:

Christopher is a 57 year old male came to hospital along with his son. He looks very tired. He just finished his first chemotherapy for esophageal cancer yesterday. Since then he has vomiting and diarrhea. He has low BP and fever of 101 degree as per vitals. His respiratory rate is also reduced to 9 BPM. Physical exam showed epigastric tenderness. Patient was started on IV fluids immediately and admitted for management of dehydration.

ICD-10 codes for this scenario would be:

E86.0 – Dehydration

C15.9 – Esophageal cancer

T45.1X5A – Adverse effect of chemotherapy

R50.9 – fever

R10.816 – Epigastric abdominal tenderness

Note: Patient is admitted for further management of dehydration; hence it is assigned as primary code. Adverse effect of chemotherapy also should be coded as this is the reason for dehydration.

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