April 10, 2016

Improved Helmets: ICD-10 codes

A couple of people have suggested I have a look at the ICD-10-AM codes, as this is how a lot of stats are actually recorded.

The trouble was getting hold of a copy of ICD-10-AM to look at in order to determine what is of interest. It’s a very heavily guarded secret apparently. They’re derived from the ICD-10 standard codes.

As it turns out, there’s a site that provides the ICD-10-CM codes .

The codes appear to be similar for things like head injury, so perhaps this will be “close enough”? For privacy reasons, I might not get deep enough for the differences to be significant, but this is a starting point and will at least get us most of the way there.

The ones that appear to be of interest seem to be the following:

Code Description Reasoning
S12 Neck Fractures (vertebrae) Too-heavy protective gear may be a factor in whiplash injury, need to ensure we don’t make other problems worse.
S14 Nerve injuries in Neck Again, related to whiplash and other neck-related injuries.
S16 Tendons/muscles in neck Once again, whiplash and similar conditions
S02 Skull fractures This is the area helmets are supposed to protect!
S06 Brain injuries Again, what helmets are supposed to protect!

I haven’t gone to the deeper levels for two reasons:

  • There may be privacy issues going too much deeper
  • The stuff I’ll be looking at will be according to the ICD-10-AM system, which may have slightly different designators at the lower levels.