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International Classification of Diseases (ICD) Coding

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ICD Coding: BACKGROUND

The International Classification of Diseases (ICD) is the international standard for diagnostic classification. It is developed and regularly updated by the World Health Organization and is currently in its 10th version. The ICD provides a comprehensive coding system for diseases and health conditions to be used on death certificates, hospital and other vital records.

ICD-10 defines a maternal death as:

the death of a woman while pregnant or within 42 days of termination of pregnancy, irrespective of the duration and site of the pregnancy, from any cause related to or aggravated by the pregnancy or its management but not from accidental or incidental causes *

ICD-10 differs from earlier versions in that it also provides a definition for late maternal death:

the death of a woman from direct or indirect obstetric causes more than 42 days but less than one year after termination of pregnancy*

While the definition of maternal deaths is further broken down into direct and indirect deaths, misclassification and under-reporting of maternal mortality can still be a problem as the precise cause of death (even if identified as pregnancy-related) can be missed.

*International statistical classification of diseases and related health problems, 10th Revision. 2nd edition, Volume 2 Instruction Manual. Geneva: World Health Organization

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ICD Coding: GUIDELINES

World Health Organisation International statistical classification of diseases and related health problems, 10th Revision. 2nd edition, Volume 2 Instruction Manual. Geneva: World Health Organization

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National Center for Health Statistics Hoyert DL (2007) Maternal mortality and related concepts. National Center for Health Statistics. Vital & Health Statistics 3(33).

Pan American Health Organisation - Pan American Journal of Public Health Laurenti, R; Buchalla, CM (1997) Maternal and child health indicators: implications of the tenth revision of the International Classification of Diseases. Pan American Journal of Public Health, 21(1): 13-7.

Office of National Statistics Office of National Statistics (England and Wales). Comparing trend data in ICD-10 and ICD-9. 2004.

Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report Starzyk P, Frost F, Kobayashi JM (1986) Misclassification of maternal deaths: Washington State. MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep; 35:621-623.

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World Health Organisation International Classification of Diseases. Geneva: World Health Organization.

World Health Organisation ICD-10 Online. Geneva: World Health Organization.

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