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Data Element Name:  External Cause-of-Injury Code File Location:   Master, De-Identified, De-Identified Abbreviated
SPARCS Data Element Number:  77
Record Positions:  1676 - 1681 Format-Length:  A/N - 6
Effective Date:  1/1/1994 Revision Date:  January 1999
Deniable Data Element:  No


The ICD-9-CM code for the external cause of an injury, poisoning, or adverse effect. Hospitals complete this item whenever there is a diagnosis of an injury, poisoning, or adverse effect. The priorities for recording an External Code (E-Code) are: (1) principal diagnosis of an injury or poisoning, (2) other diagnosis of an injury, poisoning, or adverse effect directly related to the principal diagnosis, and (3) other diagnosis with an external cause.

Only the first E-Code is recorded in this item. Additional E-Codes were not entered. The Present on Admission Indicator does not apply; this Indicator is reported with the code for the injury itself, not with its external cause.

Codes and Values:
  1. Must have been a valid ICD-9-CM "E" code excluding the decimal point. To have been valid, the code must have been entered at the most specific level classified in the ICD-9-CM Tabular List. Three-digit codes further divided to the four-digit level must have been entered using all four digits plus the prefix letter "E". Failure to enter the prefix "E" and all required digits would have caused the record to reject.

  2. Must have been left justified including the prefix letter "E" and all digits exactly as shown in the ICD-9-CM coding reference excluding the decimal point, and space filled.

  3. E-Codes in the range E849.0-E849.9 and E930.0-E949.9 are invalid.

  4. If this field was not applicable, it contains blanks.
Edit Applications:
  1. A valid entry was required in this field when either the Principal/Primary Diagnosis Code (Data Element 68) or an Other Diagnosis Code 1-14 (Data Element 69) reported were in the range 800.00-999.99.

  2. When an External Cause-of-Injury Code in the range of E850.0 to E869.9 or E880.0 to E928.9 was reported, then a Place-of-Injury Code (Data Element 78) must also have been reported.

  3. Prior to 1990, E-codes were reported in the Other Diagnosis Code 1-14 field (Data Element 69).

  4. After December 1, 1998, additional E-codes may have been reported in the Other Diagnosis Code 1-14 field (Data Element 69).