ICD-10-CM Code X78.9XXA

Intentional self-harm by unspecified sharp object, initial encounter

Version 2020 Billable Code

Valid for Submission

X78.9XXA is a billable code used to specify a medical diagnosis of intentional self-harm by unspecified sharp object, initial encounter. The code is valid for the year 2020 for the submission of HIPAA-covered transactions. The ICD-10-CM code X78.9XXA might also be used to specify conditions or terms like attempted suicide - cut/stab, cutting own throat, cutting own wrists, cutting self, deliberate self-cutting, self inflicted injury, etc

ICD-10:X78.9XXA
Short Description:Intentional self-harm by unsp sharp object, init encntr
Long Description:Intentional self-harm by unspecified sharp object, initial encounter

Synonyms

The following clinical terms are approximate synonyms or lay terms that might be used to identify the correct diagnosis code:

  • Attempted suicide - cut/stab
  • Cutting own throat
  • Cutting own wrists
  • Cutting self
  • Deliberate self-cutting
  • Self inflicted injury
  • Self inflicted lacerations to wrist
  • Stabbing self
  • Suicide - cut/stab
  • Suicide attempt by cutting wrist

Convert X78.9XXA to ICD-9

  • E956 - Injury-cut instrument (Approximate Flag)

Code Classification

  • External causes of morbidity and mortality (V01–Y98)
    • Intentional self-harm (X71-X83)
      • Intentional self-harm by sharp object (X78)

Code History

  • FY 2016 - New Code, effective from 10/1/2015 through 9/30/2016
    (First year ICD-10-CM implemented into the HIPAA code set)
  • FY 2017 - No Change, effective from 10/1/2016 through 9/30/2017
  • FY 2018 - No Change, effective from 10/1/2017 through 9/30/2018
  • FY 2019 - No Change, effective from 10/1/2018 through 9/30/2019
  • FY 2020 - No Change, effective from 10/1/2019 through 9/30/2020

Information for Patients


Self-Harm

What is self-harm?

Self-harm, or self-injury, is when a person hurts his or her own body on purpose. The injuries may be minor, but sometimes they can be severe. They may leave permanent scars or cause serious health problems. Some examples are

  • Cutting yourself (such as using a razor blade, knife, or other sharp object to cut your skin)
  • Punching yourself or punching things (like a wall)
  • Burning yourself with cigarettes, matches, or candles
  • Pulling out your hair
  • Poking objects through body openings
  • Breaking your bones or bruising yourself

Self-harm is not a mental disorder. It is a behavior - an unhealthy way to cope with strong feelings. However, some of the people who harm themselves do have a mental disorder.

People who harm themselves are usually not trying to kill themselves. But they are at higher risk of attempting suicide if they do not get help.

Why do people harm themselves?

There are different reasons why people harm themselves. Often, they have trouble coping and dealing with their feelings. They harm themselves to try to

  • Make themselves feel something, when they feel empty or numb inside
  • Block upsetting memories
  • Show that they need help
  • Release strong feelings that overwhelm them, such as anger, loneliness, or hopelessness
  • Punish themselves
  • Feel a sense of control

Who is at risk for self-harm?

There are people of all ages who harm themselves, but it usually starts in the teen or early adult years. Self-harm is more common in people who

  • Were abused or went through a trauma as children
  • Have mental disorders, such as
    • Depression
    • Eating disorders
    • Post-traumatic stress disorder
    • Certain personality disorders
  • Abuse drugs or alcohol
  • Have friends who self-harm
  • Have low self-esteem

What are the signs of self-harm?

Signs that someone may be hurting themselves include

  • Having frequent cuts, bruises, or scars
  • Wearing long sleeves or pants even in hot weather
  • Making excuses about injuries
  • Having sharp objects around for no clear reason

How can I help someone who self-harms?

If someone you know is self-harming, it is important not to be judgmental. Let that person know that you want to help. If the person is a child or teenager, ask him or her to talk to a trusted adult. If he or she won't do that, talk to a trusted adult yourself. If the person who is self-harming is an adult, suggest mental health counseling.

What the treatments are for self-harm?

There are no medicines to treat self-harming behaviors. But there are medicines to treat any mental disorders that the person may have, such as anxiety and depression. Treating the mental disorder may weaken the urge to self-harm.

Mental health counseling or therapy can also help by teaching the person

  • Problem-solving skills
  • New ways to cope with strong emotions
  • Better relationship skills
  • Ways to strengthen self-esteem

If the problem is severe, the person may need more intensive treatment in a psychiatric hospital or a mental health day program.


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Wounds and Injuries

An injury is damage to your body. It is a general term that refers to harm caused by accidents, falls, hits, weapons, and more. In the U.S., millions of people injure themselves every year. These injuries range from minor to life-threatening. Injuries can happen at work or play, indoors or outdoors, driving a car, or walking across the street.

Wounds are injuries that break the skin or other body tissues. They include cuts, scrapes, scratches, and punctured skin. They often happen because of an accident, but surgery, sutures, and stitches also cause wounds. Minor wounds usually aren't serious, but it is important to clean them. Serious and infected wounds may require first aid followed by a visit to your doctor. You should also seek attention if the wound is deep, you cannot close it yourself, you cannot stop the bleeding or get the dirt out, or it does not heal.

Other common types of injuries include

  • Animal bites
  • Bruises
  • Burns
  • Dislocations
  • Electrical injuries
  • Fractures
  • Sprains and strains

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