Fecal Impaction in the Emergency Department An Analysis of Frequency and Associated Charges in 2011

Caroline Corban, Thomas Sommers, Neil Sengupta, Mike Jones, Vivian Cheng, Elizabeth Friedlander, Andrea Bollom, Anthony Lembo*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Citations (Scopus)


Goals: The aim of this study was to analyze the incidence and associated charges of fecal impaction for trends in hospital and patient demographics in emergency departments (ED) across the United States. Background: In 2010, an ICD-9-CM code (560.32) for fecal impaction was introduced, allowing for assessment of fecal impaction incidence. Study: Data were obtained from the National Emergency Department Sample records in which fecal impaction (ICD-9-CM code 560.32) was first listed as a diagnosis in 2011. Results: In 2011, there were 42,481 [95% confidence interval (CI), 39,908-45,054] fecal impaction ED visits, with an overall rate of 32 fecal impaction visits per 100,000 ED visits. Adjusted for inflation in 2014 dollars, the associated mean charge of a fecal impaction ED visit was $3060.47 (95% CI, $2943.02-$3177.92), with an aggregate national charge in the US of $130,010,772 (95% CI, $120,688,659- $139,332,885). All charges were adjusted for inflation and reported in 2014 dollars. Late elders (85+ y) had the highest rate of fecal impaction ED visits, followed by early elders (65 to 84 y). Medicare was the primary payer for the greatest number of fecal impaction ED visits accounting for nearly two thirds of visit payments. Conclusion: This study reports previously unexplored statistics on the number, frequency, and associated charges of ED visits with a primary diagnosis of fecal impaction, a condition found most commonly among elders.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)572-577
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Clinical Gastroenterology
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2016


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