Monday, December 10, 2012

Code for the Day: Awakening from a Tryptophan-Induced Coma (T50.3X2D)

I knew it had been awhile since I penned a blog post, but I didn't realize quite how long.  And how does one come back?  Which excuse should I use?  Well, now that we are two weeks post Thanksgiving, I choose tryptophan as my excuse - you know, that supposed chemical in turkey that makes us so sleepy after Thanksgiving dinner?  Did you know there is a code for overdosing on tryptophan?!
  • T50.3X2D, Poisoning by electrolytic, caloric and water-balance agents, intentional self-harm, subsequent encounter
This code cracks me up.  I'm sure there is a real reason for this code to exist - I mean, besides blog fodder. But this one is just too good to be true.  I found this code by looking up tryptophan in the Table of Drugs and Chemicals and decided to use the column for intentional self-harm rather than accidental.  Because really, we do this turkey stuffing thing to ourselves.  And, of course, I chose the subsequent encounter because this isn't my first rodeo!

Just for good measure, let's also throw in this little gem for overeating:
  • R63.2 Polyphagia

So now you're saying, well, Kristi, that was over two weeks ago, where the heck have you been?  This is where the coma part comes in and luckily, we have codes to capture the Glasgow coma scale too.  This is how I would rate my Thanksgiving experience:
  • R40.2131, Coma scale, eyes open to sound, in the field [EMT or ambulance]
  • R40.2221, Coma scale, best verbal response, incomprehensible words, in the field [EMT or ambulance]
  • R40.2361, Coma scale, best motor response, obeys commands, in the field [EMT or ambulance]
Okay, not really.  In all honesty, since Thanksgiving, I've been trying to kick a nasty virus while continuing to meet work deadlines and other commitments.  The code for upper respiratory infection just isn't as much fun as the ones listed here. I hope you are having a healthier holiday season than me!

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