Adverse drug reactions in patients admitted to hospital identified by discharge ICD-10 codes and by spontaneous reports

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


  • Robin Ferner

Colleges, School and Institutes


AIMS: We studied the international classification of disease (ICD) hospital discharge codes to find unreported adverse drug reactions (ADRs), and asked doctors about their attitudes to reporting some of these cases. METHODS: We examined the ICD codes assigned on discharge to identify ADRs and compared these with spontaneous reports made to the Committee on Safety of Medicines (CSM). Doctors involved were sent brief résumés of cases and asked if they would report them. RESULTS: 49 of 21 365 patient episodes were coded on discharge as ADRs, of which 33 were 'reportable'. Fourteen spontaneous reports were received by the CSM during the same period. The two groups did not overlap. 25 of 60 doctors responded to our questionnaire, and would have reported only 8 of 75 cases outlined. CONCLUSIONS: The ICD coding allowed us to identify important ADRs which most doctors would not report spontaneously.


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)337-339
Number of pages3
JournalBritish Journal of Clinical Pharmacology
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sep 2001