American Academy of Pediatrics Cautions Children and Pregnant Women Against Consuming Raw Milk

by | Last updated Jun 12, 2023 | Published on Jun 3, 2014 | Healthcare News

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In the policy statement published in the January 2014 Pediatrics Journal, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) warns kids and pregnant women against the consumption of raw milk and products made from raw milk. Milk that hasn’t been pasteurized or doesn’t heat to at least to 161 degrees Fahrenheit may contain harmful germs and is known as raw milk. The AAP statement reviews evidence of risks associated with the consumption of unpasteurized milk and milk products among infants, children and pregnant women in the U.S. and supports a ban on the sale of raw milk and its products (including some raw milk cheeses) in the U.S.

However, certain raw milk advocates opined that the risk of illness related to raw milk is overstated since the percentage of illness reported from raw milk is too low. But, the percentage specified by these advocates does not match with the data provided by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). As per that data, 148 outbreaks from the consumption of raw milk or raw-milk products were reported during 1998 to 2011 and they resulted in around 2,400 illnesses, 284 hospitalizations and two deaths. In June 2013, health officials of Minnesota Health Department found at least six illnesses prevailed in the state were linked to the consumption of raw diary products. A study published in the CDC journal Emerging Infectious Diseases revealed that out of the excluded outbreak cases that occurred in Minnesota between 2001 and 2010, 21 occurred during five outbreaks related to raw milk consumption.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) also emphasizes that bacteria in raw milk is dangerous for children and pregnant women apart from individuals having weak immune systems and older adults. AAP supports the stance of FDA on the matter of raw milk. As per FDA, raw milk carries harmful bacteria including Salmonella, E. coli, and Listeria which cause several types of food borne illnesses. Children are more affected by the illness caused by raw milk and can even develop kidney failures (eventually) in worst cases. Illness associated with raw milk can lead to miscarriage, fetal death / illness or death of a newborn in pregnant women. Following are the symptoms of food borne illness.

  • Vomiting, diarrhea, and abdominal pain
  • Flu related symptoms including fever, headache and body ache

Even though most healthy people overcome the illness caused by raw milk within a short period, chronic, severe or life-threatening symptoms may develop in certain cases. FDA advises that patients see a healthcare provider as fast as possible if they or someone they know has symptoms of food borne illness after consuming raw materials, especially when the victim is an infant, child or pregnant woman.

Quality Care and Accurate Documentation Important

Practitioners must document the details of patient visits accurately in order to provide quality care. Medical coders can assign correct codes only if the medical documentation is accurate so that the physicians can avoid claim denials and receive proper reimbursement in time.

Medical Coding – Diagnosis Codes for Anaphylactic Reaction from Raw Milk

ICD-9 Codes

  • 995.67: Anaphylactic reaction due to milk products

ICD-10 Codes (Effective from October 1, 2014)

  • T78.07: Anaphylactic reaction due to milk and dairy products
  • T78.07XA: Anaphylactic reaction due to milk and dairy products, initial encounter
  • T78.07XD: Anaphylactic reaction due to milk and dairy products, subsequent encounter
  • T78.07XS: Anaphylactic reaction due to milk and dairy products, sequela

Family practitioners and pediatricians can rely on professional medical billing and coding services provided by experienced coders and managing the medical claim billing without wasting the time needed for providing patient care.

Rajeev Rajagopal

Rajeev Rajagopal, the President of OSI, has a wealth of experience as a healthcare business consultant in the United States. He has a keen understanding of current medical billing and coding standards.

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