Thursday, March 30, 2006

How to come to grief

Fancy them at your peril...

Part of my job involves coding types of cancer from medical reports, each one having it's own alphanumeric code. The book we use for this (which as you can imagine is very large, with each cancer and each body part having a specific code) also contains a chapter on 'External causes of Injury', full of things like being hit by cars, punched in the face etc. But it also contains some slightly less-common ways to come to grief. So with apologies to hypochondriacs everywhere, here are a few lesser-known ways to end up on a hospital admission form...

- accident caused by diving with insufficient air supply W81.0
- accident (transport) involving aircraft - sucked into jet engine V97.3
- assassination (attempt) (see also assault) Y09.0
- bean in nose W79.0
- beheading (by guillotine) legal execution Y35.5
- bitten by millipede, venomous (tropical) X26.0
- burn (electricity)(flame)(hot gas)(radiation)(steam) to testis T21.0
- combustion, spontaneous (see also ignition) X09.0
- contact with hornet(s) X23.0
- contact with meat slicer (industrial) W31.0
- dust in eye W44.0
- effects (adverse) of nuclear explosion (fireball) Y36.5
- falling from flagpole W13.0
- implantation of quills from porcupine W55.0
- lying before train, vehicle or other moving object (accidental) Y31.0
- mangled (accidentally) X59.0
- pecked by bird W64.0
- rowing, excessive X50.0
- spacecraft accident injuring occupant V95.4
- struck (accidentally) by law enforcement agent Y35.6
- suicide by steam, hot vapour X77.0
- thunderbolt X33.0
- twisted by person(s) (accidentally) W50.0

I love some of these. How on earth do you accidentally lie in front of a train? Or steam yourself to death? You'd lose none of your flavour though. Unsurprisingly, the book makes no allowance for any positive effects of being caught in a nuclear fireball (if there are any, they're probably only very brief). And all this assuming SMR06 medical forms survive the apocalypse - maybe cockroaches could fill them out, or something. Anyway, there are also 'medical' causes of illness and injury in there - not just unfortunate things that happen if you stand in the wrong place/push the wrong button/annoy a porcupine. Some of them have names you just couldn't make up - and would cause you no end of nervous fidgeting in a doctor's waiting room...

- bubbly lung sydrome P27.0
- budgerigar fancier's disease J67.2
(I kid you not)
- clam digger's itch B65.3
- coalminer's elbow M70.2
- devil's grip B33.0
- kinking hair L67.8
- moveable kidney N28.8
- overlapping toe M20.5
- testicular feminization syndrome E34.5
- whistling face Q87.0

and if it all gets too much...

- dropped dead R96.0