ICD-11: Significant Changes and Their Impact on Global Health Classification

Hey there, medical enthusiasts! Ever heard of the International Classification of Diseases, 11th Revision (ICD-11)? It’s a huge leap forward in medicine, showcasing the latest strides in science and our understanding of a plethora of health conditions. Today, we’ll dive deep into some of the significant updates in ICD-11, focusing on four key areas: Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR), Sepsis, Intellectual Disability, and Drug Abuse.

Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR) – A Synchronized Approach

Starting with AMR, ICD-11 has brought about a change that brings it into sync with the Global Antimicrobial Resistance Surveillance System (GLASS). GLASS was kicked off by the WHO in 2015, serving as a worldwide platform for sharing data on AMR. It’s a crucial tool that helps us build national, regional, and even global strategies to combat antimicrobial resistance. By aligning with GLASS, ICD-11 essentially steps up the game for better surveillance and management of AMR.

Sepsis – Sharpening Definitions and Terminology

Next up, let’s talk about sepsis. The ICD-11’s definition now resonates with the international consensus established in 2016, which states that sepsis is “a life-threatening organ dysfunction due to a dysregulated host response to infection.” There’s a specific category in ICD-11 dedicated to identifying sepsis (excluding during pregnancy or in newborns). This can be coupled with other codes to specify an infection.

Also, there’s a noteworthy change in the terminology around sepsis and septicaemia. Previously, they were considered as one and the same, but not anymore. In the new revision, septicaemia is defined as a microbiological finding in blood, blood-forming organs, or the immune system. This distinction is crucial to enhance the precision of diagnoses, ultimately leading to improved patient care.

Intellectual Disability – A More Respectful Language

Moving on, in a bid to promote respectful and inclusive language, ICD-11 has bid adieu to the dated term ‘mental retardation’ and embraced ‘intellectual disability’ instead. This shift not only mirrors the progression of societal norms but also champions a more humanistic approach to health and wellness.

Drug Abuse – Reflecting Evolving Trends

In step with the ever-changing trends in substance use, ICD-11 has widened the categories of drugs, mirroring the shifts in substances related to public health consequences globally. It introduces specific subcategories for single episodes of harmful use, patterns of harmful use, dependence, intoxication, and withdrawal, all sorted by substance type. This helps us gain a more nuanced understanding of patterns of drug abuse.

Substance Extension Codes – A New Addition

Considering the alarming rise in harmful substance-related incidents, such as acid attacks, ICD-11 has introduced ‘substance extension codes’. These codes allow for a more detailed identification of the substances involved in these incidents. This contributes to a better understanding of these malicious events and aids in creating effective prevention strategies.

Wrapping Up

To sum it up, ICD-11 is a mighty tool that encapsulates the latest advancements in medical science and societal shifts. It helps us record, report, analyze, and interpret health data in a more accurate and comprehensive way, which, in turn, paves the way for effective public health policies and enhanced patient care. So, here’s to the advancements in healthcare!

Related Articles


This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.