Silly ICD-10 Codes: What Will they Say About Us?

Every time a person seeks medical treatment, healthcare professionals are required to use a specific code for billing and tracking purposes. The International Classification of Diseases, Revision 10 (ICD-10), was launched Oct. 1, 2015 — after 20 years of delays.

The new ICD-10 codes multiply the medical coding options available by a factor of five, jumping from roughly 13,000 diagnostics codes under the ICD-9 to more than 69,000 with ICD-10.

ICD-10 attempts to label every possible diagnostic scenario imaginable. Whether you’ve had an initial encounter with an orca whale (W56.21XA, W56.22XA or W56.29XA) or an unlikely repeat orca encounter (W56.21XD, W56.22XD or W56.29XD), been injured by a brass musical instrument (Y93.J4), or walked into a wall (W22.01XA, W22.01XD or W22.01XS), believe it or not ICD-10 has a classification for it.

Don’t believe us? Take a peak for yourself. Check out the ICD-10 Code Lookup Database or you can just look at the entertaining graphic below provided by The graphic illustrates 14 funny examples of ways people injure themselves and how ICD-10 classifies them.

A personal favorite? It has to be V91.07XA: Burn because of to water skis on fire, initial encounter. It’s easy to wonder how this happens once, let alone more than once, V91.07XD: Burn because of water skis on fire, subsequent encounter.

Take a look at the following graphic depicting some of the most bizarre ICD-10 codes, thanks to and provided by What will these codes, when aggregated over the next few years, say about us as a people? That we’re likely into, and injured by, some pretty weird stuff! Perhaps I’ll write a book.

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