Coding Dr. Seuss-Related Injuries in ICD-10

Did you know, my friend, in this very town, lies a library where Dr. Seuss items abound?

The master author of beloved children’s books like “The Cat in the Hat,” “Hop on Pop,” and “How the Grinch Stole Christmas,” Theodor Seuss Geisel (better known as Dr. Seuss) was honored by the University of California, San Diego in 1995 with the campus’s Geisel Library. The library’s Dr. Seuss Collection contains 8,500 items related to Geisel, a long time San Diego area resident, including original drawings, manuscript drafts, videotapes, photographs, and other memorabilia. The collection documents the full range of Dr. Seuss’s creative achievements from his high school work in 1919 to his death in 1991, according to the Geisel Library website.

Dr. Seuss is best known for his flamboyant and surreal books that typically hold a serious lesson at their core. Though considered classic children’s literature, at least one parent has taken issue with Dr. Seuss’s sometimes chaotic books. A letter of complaint filed in 2013 at the Toronto Public Library called for the removal of Dr. Seuss’s “Hop on Pop” from the shelves since it “encourages children to use violence against their fathers,” according to the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) News. The library’s materials review committee investigated the compliant and denied the call for removing the book, writing in its report that eventually the children are “actually told not to hop on pop” in the story, according to the CBC.

If some of Seuss’s fantastical books, like “Hop on Pop,” came to life after October 1, 2015, and characters did sustain harm, how would their injuries be coded using ICD-10-CM/PCS?

Read on, my friend, and you will see, just how to code Seuss injuries.

Hop on Pop

Those pesky kids just could not stop. They hopped, and hopped, and hopped on Pop. Before they stopped poor Pop went “pop!” and off to the emergency room he flopped.

  • Broken sternum – S22.20XA (Unspecified fracture of sternum, initial encounter)
  • Internal bleeding – R58 (Hemorrhage, not elsewhere classified)
  • Ruptured stomach – S36.39XA (Other injury of stomach, initial encounter)
How the Grinch Stole Christmas

The Grinch’s heart grew three sizes that day, but the stress on his ticker led to a hospital stay.

  • Heart attack – I21.3 (ST elevation myocardial infarction of unspecified site)
The Cat in the Hat

With no parents around, the Cat went nuts. It was fun at first, but soon his psyche went bust.

  • Psychotic episode – F23 (Brief psychotic disorder)
  • Concussion (Cat falling off balancing ball and onto head) – S06.0X9A (Concussion with loss of consciousness of unspecified duration)
  • Panic attack (by the concerned fish and, eventually, the children) – F41.0 (Panic disorder without agoraphobia)
The Lorax

When the environment loses, we all do too. Just look at what unchecked industry can do.

  • Respiratory illness due to environment; asthma – J45.909 (Unspecified asthma, uncomplicated)
  • Mercury poisoning – T56.1X1A (Toxic effect of mercury and its compounds, accidental, initial encounter)
  • Toxic waste burns – T54.91XA (Toxic effect of unspecified corrosive substance, accidental, initial encounter)

Catch up on the news and get insights from AHIMA’s 86th annual Convention and Exhibit held September 27-October 2 in San Diego, CA. For a complete list of event coverage on the Journal of AHIMA website, click here.



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