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Thread: Dehydration

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Orange, California

    Default Dehydration

    AAPC: Back to School

    And thank you in advance.

    I had a question to see if I should code dehydration or not for the following:

    Patient is admitted for observation for influenza symptoms and extreme nausea and vomiting. The patient is severly dehydrated and is experiencing dizziness and mental confusion.

    Should the dehydration be coded or is it a condition that is an integral part of the disease?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Bangor, Maine


    Dehydration - guidelines
    ******Coding Clinic, Second Quarter 1988 Page: 9
    ******Related Information


    Dehydration, 276.5, refers to water depletion. Symptoms and signs of dehydration, such as dryness of mucous membranes, loss of skin turgor, and anorexia, may be due to inadequate fluid intake, vomiting, diarrhea, sweating, or polyuria. With more severe degrees of volume depletion, the patient is often lethargic, weak, and obtunded and shock or coma may occur. The treatment goal is total replacement of fluid deficit within 48--72 hours where possible.

    Conditions such as burns, gastrointestinal disease, peritonitis, ascites, diabetic glycosuria, Addison's disease, hypoaldosteronism, renal failure, and urinary tract infections and other infections are often accompanied by dehydration. Profuse sweating with inadequate fluid intake or loss of thirst on the part of an individual may result in dehydration. Depending on the severity of the dehydration and severity of any underlying cause, dehydration may be treated by oral replenishment of fluids or by intravenous administration of fluids.

    The diagnosis of dehydration creates confusion in determining the sequence order for the code assignment because it is often the result of another condition as well as a severe management problem in itself.

    Determination as to whether or not dehydration should be assigned as the principal diagnosis or listed in a secondary position depends on the circumstances of the admission and the judgment of the attending physician. Dehydration is the principal diagnosis if it is the condition established after study to be chiefly responsible for occasioning the admission of the patient to the hospital.

    ©*Copyright 1984-2010, American Hospital Association ("AHA"), Chicago, Illinois. Reproduced with permission. No portion of this publication may be copied without the express, written consent of AHA.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Orange, California


    Thank you soooo much for the info.

    Have a great weekend!

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