A39.1: Waterhouse-Friderichsen syndrome

You have been infected with meningococci.

You have been infected by certain bacteria called meningococci. These bacteria are typically transmitted person-to-person, for example by sneezing or shaking hands. The bacteria have given you blood poisoning.

The body’s immune system reacts to bacteria and toxic substances. With blood poisoning, they can spread throughout the body via the blood. The immune system is usually closely controlled. With blood poisoning, these controls do not work properly. As a result, the functioning of organs in the body is disrupted.

As a result of your blood poisoning so many blood clots have formed that large amounts of coagulants in the blood have been used up. When there are fewer coagulants, the blood is no longer able to coagulate properly, and this may result in internal bleeding. Many hemorrhages are then visible on the skin. Bleeding in the body may cause organs or tissue to necrotize. The disorder can also damage the brain and heart.

Additional indicator

On medical documents, the ICD code is often appended by letters that indicate the diagnostic certainty or the affected side of the body.

  • G: Confirmed diagnosis
  • V: Tentative diagnosis
  • Z: Condition after
  • A: Excluded diagnosis
  • L: Left
  • R: Right
  • B: Both sides

Further information


This information is not intended for self-diagnosis and does not replace professional medical advice from a doctor. If you find an ICD code on a personal medical document, please also note the additional indicator used for diagnostic confidence.
Your doctor will assist you with any health-related questions and explain the ICD diagnosis code to you in a direct consultation if necessary.


Provided by the non-profit organization “Was hab’ ich?” gemeinnützige GmbH on behalf of the Federal Ministry of Health (BMG).