Posted on 24. Apr, 2009 by in Provider News
The mainstream press has been buzzing about the live fir tree that Russian doctors removed from a man’s lung. Some say the story just has to be an urban myth. But here at Coding News, we have other fish to fry (or firs to code). How would you code it? Here’s the ‘op note,’ if you will.
Twenty-eight-year-old Artyom Sidorkin presented complaining of chest pain and coughing up blood. An x-ray revealed what doctors thought was a malignant lung tumor, so they took him into surgery. Instead, physicians found a 3-inch live fir tree growing in his lung tissue. One Russian surgeon thinks the young man swallowed a seed, which then grew. Please click here for full story and photos from an English-language Russian news site.
So what would be the correct coding if this case occurred in the US? How about …934.8 (Foreign body in trachea, bronchus and lung; other specified parts)
32150 (Thoracotomy, major: with removal of intrapleural foreign body or fibrin deposit)
I’m stumped on the correct E code. Candidates E911 and E912 both mention “obstruction of respiratory tract or suffocation.” Not the case here. Any ideas for our comment section?
P.S. Coding & Billing expert Rhonda Buckholtz is bold enough to take this one into ICD-10-land, suggesting the diagnosis code for this extreme scenario would be T17.808.
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