British Lung Foundation
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Clinical Coding Z864 - Personal history of Psycho-active Substance Abuse. Has anyone noted this coding on their Medical Record?

On being discharged from hospital in March this year, I noted this new Z864 Coding had been added to the list of Co-morbidities on my discharge papers. This coding description worried and annoyed me - I checked the literal meaning of each word in the coding in my Oxford Dictionary and have now discovered that I could be a paranoid heroin user, an unbalanced aerosol abuser, a suicidal glue sniffer etc, whereas my crime was simply being a smoker - a habit I gave up in Nov 2007. Having been a law abiding citizen all my life, I now feel like a criminal having this coding on my Medical Record.

I have tried desperately to get this Coding removed from my Records without success - try, for example, getting holiday travel insurance with this "medical condition" on your record!!!

I have progressed my complaint through all the appropriate authorities up to, but not including, the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman without any success. It would appear that this obnoxious Coding can be added to your Records at the stroke of a pen, but it can't be removed at the stroke of a pen.

I wondered if anyone else has noted this addition to their Records - none of the excellent health professionals [GP, Respiratory Nurse, Pulmonary Rehab Physio etc.] helping me deal with my COPD has come across this Coding before.

2 Replies

that's dreadful....what's your next step then .... would be useful info for BLF to have. You could ring the helpline and see what they know.


Hi juliekkay,

Thanks for your response. I'm not sure where to go from here - I believe that this is an international coding set by the World Health Organisation. I think I will take your good advice and contact the BLF - depending on their advice, I might then take the issue up with the Ombudsman. Take care.


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