Frightening events can happen all year long, but Halloween can be a night for a lot of spooky and even serious situations for revelers. Just ask your local emergency room, which sees an uptick in various injuries at this time each year, from spider bites to knife wounds and arts-and-craft accidents.
These “horrors” show up in rather unexpected ways through medical coding data. With 68,000 categories in the International Classification of Disease (ICD-10), medical providers have a wide array of codes for identifying injuries, diseases, and causes of death. Some of these codes raise more questions than they answer.
As you prepare for Halloween night, here are some spooky codes and data to ponder from Komodo’s Healthcare Map.
Y93D: Activities involving arts and handcrafts
Last October, 106 people were seen by providers in what we can only assume were mishaps with scissors, sewing kits, and glue guns. Be careful making those decorations and DIY costumes!
X32: Exposure to sunlight
Nearly 400,000 individuals were diagnosed with excessive exposure to sunlight in 2018. Even stranger? Near Halloween, a total of 21 individuals were also diagnosed with S10.17 for “superficial bite of throat” and/or with K03.0 for “excessive attrition of teeth.”
Vampires only exist in books and films. Right?
W220.2: Walked into lamppost
Before you send trick-or-treaters out into the neighborhood, be sure your wee ones can see through the eye holes of their plastic masks. Last October, 58 individuals suffered painful (and potentially embarrassing) lamppost encounters.
T63.301: Spider bites
Fun fact: 4,713 spider bites were recorded in October 2018. Although usually harmless, you might want to sweep away those cobwebs outside your front door. Your trick-or-treaters will thank you.
E920.3: Knife injuries
More than 12,000 Americans were treated last October for knife injuries. The culprit? Pumpkin-carving, in many cases. Carve your pumpkins with care.
Y92.86: Injuries in a slaughterhouse
Slaughterhouse carnage isn’t just for B movies. Last year, 43 individuals were hurt across the nation in buildings where animals are butchered for food.
R46.1: Bizarre personal appearance
How do you define bizarre? Wearing a swan dress to the Academy Awards? Donning a meat suit as a fashion choice? Wearing a zombie costume? We aren’t sure how medical professionals objectively judge “bizarre,” but according to our data, 3,028 individuals across the United States were diagnosed with a “Bizarre Personal Appearance” in 2018.
Scary isn’t reserved for Halloween, and on this night, the bizarre is encouraged.
And sometimes diagnosed.