For the uninitiated, ICD-10 is simply an acronym for the 10th revision to the International Classification of Diseases. The previous iteration, ICD-9, enjoyed widespread use until being replaced by ICD-10 on Oct. 1, 2015. During its implementation, there was much hullabaloo among healthcare providers and lawmakers alike.
The ICD-10 revision promised to be more robust, including about 55,000 more diagnostic codes than its predecessor. With so many new codes there were bound to be some on the outlandish side, especially considering flatulence is a billable medical code (R14.3). A deeper look into the current classifications produced some very interesting results.
- Struck By Turtle (W59.22XA): Described as "the circumstance causing an injury, not the nature of the injury, and therefore should not be used as a principal diagnosis."
If one were to require urgent care under the predication of being struck by such a notoriously slow creature, this would certainly not be a proud moment. Unless the striking was committed by a third party, in which case, shame on them.
There are individual codes for being struck by many members of the animal kingdom ranging from ducks to orca.
- Fecal Urgency (R15.2): This is no laughing matter.
- Knitting and Crocheting (Y93.D1): This falls under the “external causes of morbidity” category in the new classification. While it may take a stretch of the imagination to envision a situation where one would find themselves morbidly injured in a crocheting accident, it’s good to have all the bases covered for worst-case scenarios.
- Spacecraft collision injuring occupant (V95.43XS): ICD-10 is a very forward-looking update, apparently. This futuristic scenario conjures images of Richard Branson and Elon Musk in a mid-space fender bender.
- Swimming pool of prison as the place of occurrence of the external cause (Y92.146): For those enjoying their stay at Club Fed, they can rest easy knowing that their swimming injuries are codified and billable.
- Pecked by chicken, initial encounter (W61.33XA): The inclusion of the phrase “initial encounter” presupposes that there may be subsequent like encounters with a chicken, for which there are, indeed, additional ICD-10 codes. This brings to mind the old adage: Peck me once, shame on you. Peck me in subsequent encounters, shame on me.
- Burn due to water-skis on fire, initial encounter (V91.07XA): Goodness gracious, great skis of fire. This wouldn’t be a code if there was no precedent. Again, such a particular event allows the imagination to run wild. Envision a speedboat moving so fast across the water that the skis burst into flames from sheer friction.
- Art gallery as the place of occurrence of the external cause (Y92.250): Because art galleries are notoriously dangerous environments?
- Opera house as the place of occurrence of the external cause (Y92.253): It’s all fun and games until someone gets injured at the opera house. (See also: any given “fat lady sings” joke.) This can be seen as an extension of number 8. This “place of occurrence” evokes thoughts of ocular injuries from fancy opera glasses gone rogue.
- Problems in relationship with in-laws (Z63.1): If you or someone you love has been a victim of a relationship with in-laws, help is available.
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