ICD-10 Primer, Lesson 3: Star Wars Codes

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Another wonderful strength of the new ICD-10 coding system is not only the increased number of codes dealing with the rare but possible real-life scenarios (V98.2XXA for accident to, on, or involving ice yacht, initial encounter, for example), but also the increased number of codes involving the completely fictional and make-believe scenarios within the Star Wars universe.  These lesser-known Star Wars codes are known as the U codes.

star wars ICD-10 codesThere is a well-known saying in medicine: When you hear hoofbeats, think of horses not zebras.  This celebrates the concept that common things are common.  ICD-10 does an incredible job of disregarding this completely and the creation of the fictional Star Wars codes is no exception, with nearly 3,000 of the 68,000 ICD-10 codes dedicated to Star Wars alone.  Truth be told, another 10,000 ICD-10 codes are devoted to the fictional worlds of Harry Potter, Marvel, and The Game of Thrones, but that will be discussed at a later time.


Let’s take a look at some of our favorite U codes in ICD-10:

U1138.00A – Stormtrooper rash, initial encounter
U1138.00C – Frozen in carbonite, still not thawed, initial encounter
U1138.00G – Injury sustained by green lightsaber, fourteenth encounter
U1138.00J – Injury sustained while imprisoned by Jabba the Hutt, initial encounter
U1138.00R – Injury sustained by red lightsaber, fourth encounter
U1138.00S – Seizures induced by the annoying Jar Jar Binks, ninth encounter
U327.01A – Bitten by Boba Fett, initial encounter
U327.02A – Struck by Boba Fett, initial encounter
U327.09A – Other contact with Boba Fett, initial encounter
U327.11A – Bitten by Chewbacca, initial encounter
U327.11D – Loss of right-hand due to Darth Vader’s lightsaber, subsequent encounter
U327.19D – Other loss of right-sided body part due to Darth Vader’s lightsaber, subsequent encounter
U327.21A – Accident to, on or involving Alderaan when blown up by first Death Star, initial encounter
U327.31A – Accident to, on or involving TIE fighter or Star Destroyer, initial encounter
U327.41A – Accident to, on or involving AT-AT, initial encounter
U327.51A – Accident to, on or involving the trench of the Death Star, initial encounter
U327.61A – Accident to, on or involving any other part of the Death Star, initial encounter
U327.71A – Accident to, on or involving other nonspecified imperial vessel, initial encounter
U327.81A – Accident to, on or involving X-wing starfighter, initial encounter
U327.91A – Accident to, on or involving The Force, initial encounter
U92.000 – Tatooine as the place of occurrence of the external cause
U92.001 – Mos Eisley as the place of occurrence of the external cause
U92.002 – Alderaan as the place of occurrence of the external cause
U92.003 – Cloud City as the place of occurrence of the external cause
U92.004 – Hoth as the place of occurrence of the external cause
U92.005 – Forest Moon of Endor as the place of occurrence of the external cause

It is evident that health care practitioners have a plethora of new codes at their disposal, though none will ever be applicable.  Therefore, when evaluating a patient with any condition, whether it is a cough, cold, new-onset atrial fibrillation, or a fracture, always be sure to take a focused Star Wars history: Are you part of the Rebel Alliance? Are you part of the Skywalker bloodline? Is your right hand in tact? What color is your lightsaber? Why speak like Yoda do you? How fast did you make the Kessel Run? and Is Obi-Wan Kenobi really your only hope? and so on.

May you always do a decent physical exam.  May you always clinically correlate.  May The Force be with you.  Always.

Other ICD-10 lessons:
Lesson 1: Macaw Documentation
Lesson 2: Roller-Skate Documentation
Lesson 4: Babystroller Documentation
Lesson 5: WTF Codes
Lesson 6: OMG Codes
Lesson 7: The Fortune Cookie “In Bed” Modifier
Quiz 1: Can You Spot the Y92 Code That Isn’t Real?

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