The ICD-10: Struck by a Turtle
Let's set the scene. And while we're at it, let's be dramatic.
A nurse calls, frantically across a crowded room 'Doctor, I've got a W5922XA! Come quickly!' She (In this story, we have gender-stereotype-kicking docs) looks up from a ghastly ill patient and calls back 'Are you sure?! Not a W5921XA? "No, I'm certain–he was struck by the turtle!"
Thus begins our exploration of the fun side of the ICD-10, the International Statistical Classification of Diseases and Related Health Disorders.
The ICD is a standardized method for classifying practically everything that a doctor should like to classify. It's used internationally, and produced by the World Health Organization. The idea is to have a simple shorthand to convey a lot of information in a short code, in a way that is the same from Nicaragua to Lithuania. Codes are six letters or numbers long, and make for a reliable method of conveying both the problem and a few details. Mental illness is included, along with a whole host of common and not so common occurences. Today, we're going to have some fun with the not-so-common.
You'd never think space-related injuries were common enough to develop their own series of codes, but it appears the public has been misinformed as to the danger of spacecrafts, launchpads, and their ilk. There more than ten codes for when you've gotten into trouble with your interstellar transportation. Did you collide your spacecraft? Was it the first time? That's V9543XA. Do it again, and it'll be V9543XD. The code isn't a new one–it dates back to 1966–as the ICD has been updated, it's simply never been edited out. There's also labels for the (relatively) more common issues related to weightlessness in space. (Lack of gravity for a prolonged period can cause a decrease in bone density). Worthy of it's own code? That's another argument.
Turtles aren't the only ones getting special treatment here.
Macaws, centipedes, and everything furred or scaled or feathered in between has it's own appearance. We're going to look at turtles because, well, has anyone every been struck by a turtle? Has anyone been struck by a turtle twice? What were the circumstances? Why was the turtle in a position to be striking you? A friend, who was party to me laughing like a madwoman while reading the ICD, suggested scuba accidents involving large sea turtles with a vicious backhand. Okay, that's totally possible. Is it going to happen twice? Probably not.
Here we find the code for the first, second, and any subsequent times you are injured in your daily life. Did you walk into a lamppost on your way to school? Never fear, there's a code for that. Hurt yourself while crocheting? The ICD has you covered. When Snow White ate that poisoned apple, she had code T7804, anaphylactic shock from fruits or vegetables. What about the danger of opera houses? There's enough to have a separate section. The exploration is endless. You can take a look for yourself here.
Comment below with anything interesting! +50 internets for the winner!
Featured image from here
Credit to WSJ