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Injury, Poisoning, and Certain Other Consequences of External Causes (S00-T88)

By:  Chris Woolstenhulme, QCC, CMCS, CPC, CMRS
Published:  August 11th, 2017

There is important information that must be included when documenting injuries and external cause codes in ICD-10-CM. There are expanded sections on poisonings and toxins making it more convenient to code, as ICD-10-CM is very specific.

When using a code from Chapter 19 (Injury, Poisoning and Certain other Consequences of External Causes (S00-T88)), consider also using a secondary code from Chapter 20 (External Causes of Morbidity) to clearly report the cause of injury.


  • You must also report a code to identify any retained foreign body if applicable to the injury (Z18.-).
  • If you are coding from section T, it is not necessary to use an additional external cause code.
  • These rules exclude birth trauma (P10-P15) or obstetric trauma (O70-O71).

Injuries Documentation

When documenting injuries, include the following:

  • Episode of care (e.g., initial, subsequent, sequela)
  • Injury site: Be as specific as possible
  • Etiology: How was the injury sustained? (e.g., sports, motor vehicle crash, pedestrian, slip and fall, environmental exposure, etc.)
  • Place of Occurrence (POA) (e.g., school, work, etc.) - Note that initial encounters may also require, where appropriate:
    • Intent (e.g., unintentional or accidental, self-harm, etc.)
    • Status (e.g., civilian, military, etc.)


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