Injured By A UFO? There’s A Medical Diagnostic Code For That

The Wall Street Journal’s Health blog researches some of the more interesting medical diagnostic codes to help track injuries throughout the world. For instance, if you’re injured by a spacecraft, that’s ICD-9 code E845.

And the extended definition notes that the code includes “launching pad accident,” but excludes “effects of weightlessness in spacecraft,” which has its own code (E928.0). And with a little sleuthing they found a reference to the need for these spacecraft codes go all the way back to 1966. No doubt due to the heightened awareness of the space race.

More interesting codes:

  • injury by nuclear weapons – E979.5
  • by paintball gun – E922.5
  • by atomic power plant malfunction in watercraft – E838
  • by ski-lift with gondola – E847
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