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Coding causes of death to statistical categories

Volume 3: Alphabetical index

Volume 3 of the ICD is a comprehensive alphabetical index of all the diseases and conditions found in the full tabular list of Volume 1. It contains far more diagnostic terms than the special tabular lists, reflecting the wide variety of ways in which physicians and other clinical staff describe diseases. Volume 3 consists of:

  • Introduction – explaining the purpose of the index, its general arrangement and the conventions used
  • Section I – an alphabetical listing of terms relating to diseases, nature of injury, reasons for contact with health services and to the factors influencing a person’s health
  • Section II – an alphabetical listing of external causes of injury, morbidity and mortality
  • Section III – an alphabetically arranged table of drugs and chemicals.

It is very important that volumes 1 and 3 are used together to accurately assign codes for each clinical case. Volume 1 lists all the diseases or conditions included (or excluded) in many disease categories. Coders should never code straight from Volume 3 (Alphabetical index) or browse the tabular list in Volume 1 looking for a code that seems suitable for the clinical case being coded. Coders need to study the coding conventions, rules, instructions and guidelines described in Volume 2 (Instructions and guidelines manual) of ICD-10 before starting to code.

Learn more

World Health Organization (2016). International Statistical Classification of Diseases and Related Health Problems, 10th revision, vol. 3, 5th edition. Geneva, World Health Organization. 

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