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Thread: Diag. question - Meconium

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2007

    Default Diag. question - Meconium

    AAPC: Back to School
    When coding from labor and delivery summaries, often times the provider mentions meconium present, thick meconium, etc. I understand there are codes for the infant if they aspirate meconium, but is there a code or a need to code if the provider mentions meconium present, but it doesn't cause any complications that are mentioned? Possibly 656.81?

    Thanks in advance!

  2. #2


    If they mention it I code it. Hope this helps

  3. #3


    Yes, 656.81

  4. #4


    "Meconium Stained Liqour'- is a sign of 'Fetal Distress' except in Breech presentation. It is very very significant especially when it is 'Thick Meconium'. It is a great alarm signaling that the fetus is going into distress and if left unnoticed and not taken measures,then the fetus is in jeopardy. The Partogram-(CTG monitoring- the device that reads the uterine contraction and the fetal Heartbeats Rate and draws and dipicts them as a graph)- that it starts showing deceleration of all the various types of its degree and extent of fetal distress, and you know, it makes the staff and the Physicians get to their toes; they have to take immediate measures to relieve the fetus from distress and augment the labor, and at its worse, if it goes to show of at tracing an dby other parameters, then may go for immediate LSCS to rescue the fetus and sometimes even the mother.
    Thin meconium gives a breathing time, tough, it is also not a good sign and alerts you to look into various risk factors and review those factors and do the needful, especially when it is a High Risk pregnancy and so on. Only when it is a Breech presentation, the meconium staining is not significant because the baby buttacks presenting and it is normal in active labor, to show the meconium that is passing out first as the membrane ruptures.
    So, it is all the more important to code no matter what the result is going to be-better or the worse.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2007


    Thank you all!

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