Rare and strange ICD-10 codes

ICD-10 is a set of around 70,000 diagnosis codes. ICD stands for International Statistical Classification of Diseases and Related Health Problems. The verbosity of the name is foreshadowing.

Some of the ICD-10 codes are awfully specific, and bizarre.

For example,

  • V95.4: Unspecified spacecraft accident injuring occupant
  • V97.33XA: Sucked into jet engine, initial encounter
  • V97.33XD: Sucked into jet engine, subsequent encounter

As I understand it, V97.33XD refers to a subsequent encounter with a health care professional, not a subsequent encounter with a jet engine. But you have to wonder how many people who have been sucked into a jet engine survive to have one, much less two, medical visits.

There is a specific code, Y92.146, for injuries in a prison swimming pool. It seems strange to combine a medical diagnosis and its location into a single code. Is a swimming injury in a prison pool medically different than a swimming injury in a YMCA pool?

I understand that the circumstance of a diagnosis is not recorded strictly for medical reasons. But while 70,000 is an unwieldy large set of codes, it’s kinda small when it has to account for both malady and circumstance. Surely there are 70,000 circumstances alone that are more common than being in a spacecraft, for instance.

Is there a code for being at the opera? Why yes there is: Y92.253. However, there are no codes for being at a Costco, Walmart, or Jiffy Lube.