Not sure your HMO will cover that…

If, like me, you live in perpetual fear of being mowed down by the world’s slowest reptiles, write this number on the back your insurance card: W5922XA.  That’s the code for being “struck by a turtle, initial” in a recent expansion of the medical insurance coding database, to which they’ve just added almost 120,000 new categories.  I can’t tell you what a relief it is to know that medical insurance companies are finally giving due consideration to those of us afflicted with the inability to get out of the way of marauding chelonians.  Not only that, there’s a code assigned to those for whom this is a chronic or recrudescent condition: W5922XD “Struck by turtle, subsequent encounter”.  Phew, thank FSM for that.  If trotting testudines aren’t your problem, never fear, there’s probably another code for what ails ya, such as:

  • V9202XA if you fall off your fishing boat, but V9212XA if you were pushed
  • W5609XD is for “other” contact with dolphins, repeated (I guess if he really likes you)
  • Interestingly, there’s a code for being crushed by a crocodile (W5813XD); maybe I’m crazy but this is generally not the problem I worry about with crocs
  • T63622A is for intentional self-envenomation with a toxic jellyfish (if you check this one, you may also need F489 – Psychotic mental disorder (unspecified))
I was glad to see that “Kraken” produces no hits in the database, implying that the chances of being attacked by a Kraken are small enough not to make the actuarial tables.  That’s a relief, now I only need to worry about V9027XA: drowning after falling from a burning pair of water skis and W16221D: drowning after falling into a bucket of water…
para_sight (138 Posts)

Dr. Alistair Dove is a systematic and ecological parasitologist by training, with broader research interests in the natural history and health of marine animals, especially whale sharks. He is currently Director of Research and Conservation at Georgia Aquarium in Atlanta USA. His comments here do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Georgia Aquarium