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Defibrillator Fired

  1. #1
    Default Defibrillator Fired
    Medical Coding Books
    I code for the Emergency Dept of my local hospital. When a patient comes in because his/her defibrillator fired and they have no other complaints, what do I use for diagnosis code?

  2. #2
    Virginia Beach, VA
    If the firing was a malfunction of the unit you should report 996.04. If it truly was a dysrythmia that caused it to fire (as it should) you would code that first (probably 427 series) and v45.02 secondary.

  3. #3
    The firing is not a malfunction of the unit unless stated otherwise. In speaking with one of our EP doctors a firing usually happens, because the patient's heart has gone into V-tach, V-fib, etc and the device is acting appropiately by sensing this and sending a shock to the patient's heart to get back into rythm. You should query you doctor to find out if this is the case. There are instances where this could be coded as a malfunction, usually a lead has moved and it has caused an inappropriate shock. When this happens, it is a malfunction. You should not just assume.

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