The principal diagnosis is the main reason the patient presented to the ED and is recorded at the conclusion of the patient’s visit.
The most common diagnoses of ED presentations vary by state, triage category, admission status and age group.
Data on principal diagnosis by age and sex, triage category, and admission end status can be explored further in the data visualisations below.
In 2017–18, Injury, poisoning and certain other consequences of external causes was the most common ICD-10-AM principal diagnosis chapter reported (accounting for 25% of presentations). This chapter includes fractures, burns, toxic effects of medicinal and non-medicinal substances, and other complications. The second most common ICD-10-AM principal diagnosis chapter reported was Symptoms, signs and abnormal clinical and laboratory findings, not elsewhere classified (21% of presentations), which includes abdominal and pelvic pain, pain in the throat and chest, syncope and collapse, headache, and nausea.
About 31% of ED presentations were subsequently admitted to hospital, and older patients were more likely to be Admitted to this hospital than younger patients. The most common ICD 10 AM principal diagnosis chapter for patients admitted to hospital was Symptoms, signs and abnormal clinical and laboratory findings, not elsewhere classified (28%).
See Tables 4.5, 4.6, 4.7, 4.9 and 4.10 for caveat information on these data. Available to download in the data section.
Diagnoses are presented here using the International Statistical Classification of Disease and Related Health Problems, Tenth Revision, Australian Modification (ICD-10-AM). Diagnoses are reported by a 3-character diagnosis code and by diagnosis chapter.
Where to go for more information
Information on the principal diagnoses provided for ED presentations is available in Appendix A and Appendix B. Information for principal diagnosis by age group is available in Table 4.11, which is available for download in the data section of this report.
Information on major diagnostic block (which uses principal diagnosis information) is available in tables S4.1–S4.3 for:
- major diagnostic block and states and territories
- major diagnostic block and triage category
- major diagnostic block and admission status