The strange world of ICD-10-CM codes

By David MacQueen
December ‎2, ‎2020 ‏‎9:53 am ET

Being a biller can be a tough but rewarding job. You will often find yourself scouring through your notes and online resources like Episode Alert’s ICD -10-CM search.

However, we all love that feeling of finding the right code, right down to its perfect modifier. Now most days you will be coding mundane typical run-of-the-mill codes, you have done so many times you code them in your sleep (or dreams).

On rare occasions, you will look down with bewilderment and see something you need to code that just makes you wonder what the back story of this could be. Here are a few such codes from the Aquatic animal world. Codes you may have never seen or heard of:


W56.01 Bitten by dolphin
W56.02 Struck by dolphin

Everyone loves the fun-loving nature of Dolphins however there have been cases of being bitten or struck by a dolphin. I would fathom to guess this happens mostly to people training or researching our Dolphin friends. But I’m sure there are a few wild stories out there from some unlucky people.


Sea Lion

W56.1 Contact with sea lion
W56.11 Bitten by a sea lion
W56.12 Struck by a sea lion

Seal Lions are fast swimmers and can dive pretty deep. Coming into contact with one would probably mean a visit to a Sea wold type of exhibit.

sea lion

Orca Whale

W56.21 Bitten by Orca
W56.22 Struck by Orca

Another one sea world type of injury. Either way being bitten or struck by one of these large majestic creatures would not end well for most.

Orca Whale

Alligator & crocodile

W58.01 Bitten by alligator
W58.02 Struck by alligator
W58.03 Crushed by alligator

W58.11 Bitten by crocodile
W58.12 Struck by crocodile
W58.13 Crushed by crocodile

Alligators are generally less aggressive then crocodiles which is good. Lets be honest though you see one of these guys coming your way, you are not looking to see which one is coming your way. Now I would say mostly Florida, and southern billers will be the ones to doeal with these codes.



W59.21 Bitten by turtle

Our slow moving friends tend to have a quick bite that can hurt pretty bad. This code has probably popped up in some stranges place thanks to pet turtles.