5 Weird, Rare Accidents With Their Own Medical Codes
Yesterday was a big day for healthcare providers. It’s the first day doctors and hospitals are required to comply with the government’s new set of medical codes, which include 68,000 specific ways that you might get injured or killed. And man, are some of them specific.
The new medical codes, laid out in the tenth edition of the International Classification of Diseases, encompass basically everything you could ever think might send you to the doctor, and more. Getting burned by your pajamas, having your plastic jewelry catch on fire, falling from a streetcar, jumping out of a burning passenger ship (different from a merchant ship or fishing boat), falling on level ground and hitting a power tool, falling off a non-moving, non-motorized scooter (in other words, a Razor), falling off the toilet—they all have their own codes. Go ahead and explore for yourself here. We’ll wait.
Other countries have been using the ICD-10 codes since as far back as 1994, so this is really just the U.S. catching up with international standards. But while serious injuries are nothing to scoff at, the bureaucratic classification of those injuries is. The good folks at ICD-10 Illustrated—a blog, book, and collection of hilarious educational Powerpoint presentations for medical professionals—take the weirdest, most unexpected healthcare codes and turn them into art. Here are five silly-sounding, government-approved codes that medical providers will now have in their database:
1. STRUCK BY ORCA, INITIAL ENCOUNTER
W56.22xA: Here for all your accidental run-ins with rude marine wildlife.
2. FORCED LANDING OF SPACECRAFT INJURING OCCUPANT, INITIAL ENCOUNTER
V95.42xA might come in handy once commercial space travel really takes off, and we’re all zipping around in rockets like the Jetsons.
3. OCCUPANT OF RAILWAY TRAIN OR RAILWAY VEHICLE INJURED BY FALL IN RAILWAY TRAIN OR RAILWAY VEHICLE, INITIAL ENCOUNTER
Note that V81.5xxA is different from the codes that deal with a fall from the train.
4. STRUCK BY A DUCK, SEQUELA
Sequela, in the case of code W61.62XS, could refer to treating your newfound bird phobia after a terrifying duck encounter, for example.
5. PEDESTRIAN ON FOOT INJURED IN COLLISION WITH ROLLER-SKATER, SUBSEQUENT ENCOUNTER
V00.01xD is for the second time you have to go to the doctor to deal with your roller-skating brawl.
Who knew medical billing could be so imaginative?
All images courtesy ICD-10 Illustrated