Acute respirtory distress

In ICD-9 acute respiratory distress was a CC, in ICD-10  (J80) acute respiratory distress syndrome is listed as a CC, but our coder will not take acute respiratory distress as a CC.  Our consulting company said that acute respiratory distress was a CC.  Is there a coding clinic, or what have others been doing with this code? 


  • In ICD-10 "acute respiratory distress" = ARDS. Does your patient meet criteria for ARDS (very sick patient) or are the MD's just used to charting acute resp distress to describe someone who's having some resp distress requiring oxygen? We had this issue and got it under control prior to ICD-10 implementation. Does your patient have clinical indicators of acute respiratory failure?


  • Does the documentation state 'acute respiratory distress syndrome' (ARDS) or acute resp distress? If its not ARDS, it would be inappropriate to code J80. There is a big difference between ARDS and resp distress.


  • The coder is correct in that the documentation cited does not support the code.


  • Interested to know the clinical scenario, vitals and treatments. Sounds like this is probably just a terminology issue and an educational opportunity for everyone, MD's included.


  • Respiratory Status Query Definitions

    Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome (ARDS) –  A form of noncardiogenic pulmonary edema that is a result of the nonspecific response of the lung to a variety of insults. ARDS is defined as respiratory failure indicated by a requirement for mechanical ventilation and Pao2/fraction of inspired oxygen ratio 200 or less in the appropriate clinical setting with one or more recognized risk factors. This presentation is accompanied by new, bilateral, diffuse, patchy or homogeneous pulmonary infiltrates on the chest radiograph, with no clinical evidence of heart failure, fluid overload, or chronic lung disease (pulmonary artery occlusion pressure ≤18 mm Hg) (Rosen’s Emergency Medicine: Concepts and Clinical Practice 7th ed., John A. Marx MD, 2010
  • Agree with all above...Would definitely not code J80 unless ARDS was specifically documented. 
  • In the past, the index would take you to J80 for acute respiratory distress.  However, the current (2017)index have been changed and acute respiratory distress only takes you to R06.00.  You need to have ARDS documented in order to assign J80.

  • Recently, had a discussion  concerning coding for ARDS.  All the physicians were interchanging ARDS and acute respiratory failure.  Clinical indicators and treatment supported criteria for reporting ARDS.    I was told the  coding exclusion note indicates if both acute respiratory failure and ARDS are utilized then we're to code acute respiratory failure??  Do you think it would be necessary to query for clinical validation of ARDS vs Acute respiratory failure...?   Thank you
Sign In or Register to comment.