Public Release: 

Large number of patients admitted through ED with sepsis not given a formal diagnosis code

American College of Chest Physicians

Shanghai (April 11, 2016)-- A large number of patients admitted through the emergency department with severe sepsis or septic shock are not given a specific International Classification of Disease (ICD) code used around the world to collect data on epidemiology, morbidity and mortality statistics and reimbursement. According to research being presented at CHEST World Congress this month, patients who are identified with the ICD code often had a higher ICU admission rate and longer length of stay when compared to patients identified by clinical criteria only.

Researches analyzed more than 7,000 patient encounters with severe sepsis or septic shock, and found that 68% of patients with severe sepsis without shock did not receive an ICD diagnosis code. Patients assigned codes of severe sepsis had a higher mortality, ICU admission rate, and hospital length of stay when compared to patients identified by clinical criteria alone.

"This analysis raises many questions and adds to the growing body of evidence regarding identification of sepsis and septic shock, and implications for treatment and prediction of outcomes," said Amanda Deis, lead study author, University of Kansas School of Medicine, "we're also curious about what motivates clinicians' decisions to use ICD codes and whether that has an effect on their care."


Further study results will be shared at CHEST World Congress 2016. The study abstract can be viewed on the journal CHEST website

CHEST World Congress 2016, a global event connecting clinicians from around the world specializing in pulmonary, critical care, and sleep medicine will be held April 15-17, 2015, in Shanghai, China with the support of the Chinese Thoracic Society.

CHEST, publisher of the journal CHEST, is the global leader in advancing best patient outcomes through innovative chest medicine education, clinical research, and team-based care. Its mission is to champion the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of chest diseases through education, communication, and research. It serves as an essential connection to clinical knowledge and resources for its 19,000 members from around the world who provide patient care in pulmonary, critical care, and sleep medicine.

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