The Wall Street Journal has an item today noting that a new federal law is about to expand the number of medical-insurance codes dramatically. The codes are used by hospitals and doctors to describe a patient's injury, and apparently the existing 18,000 codes don't allow them to be specific enough. The new law will result in about 140,000 codes, according to the report.
The Journal's story is interactive, allowing you to search the codes to see just how specific they get. For example, this search shows you the nine different codes for turtle-related injuries:
I could see being bitten by a turtle, but how does one get "struck by a turtle," exactly? Are these turtles being thrown or propelled, and if so, how? (I'm not sure I want to know what "other contact with turtle" might be.)
There are also quite a few codes for injuries involving "spacecraft":
Nothing for "asteroid impact" or "pirates," unfortunately, although there were three codes for "walking into lamppost," and at least one for injuries related to "knitting and crocheting."
Be careful out there.
(Via Boing Boing.)