When that angry little neighbor dog decides to take a bite out of someone’s child, and you are a medical coder, you will need to be able to assign the correct code. This coding scenario involves external cause codes and the bite from the angry dog.
Question: A 7-year-old girl was playing yesterday with her next-door neighbor, and they were running around after each other with squirt guns. The neighbor’s little dog must have felt the 7-year-old was threatening the other girl, and the dog bit her on the leg. On examination, she has multiple jagged bites and a painful open wound in the right lower leg. Assign the external cause code for the dog bite.
Looking in the ICD-10-CM External Cause of Injuries Index, see Bite, dog W54.0. Verified in the Tabular, W54.0 refers to Bitten by dog. However, this code is unreportable, because it requires a 7th character. W54.0XXA should be assigned to show it is an initial encounter and patient is receiving active treatment.
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