Ah, St. Patrick’s Day—loved by the Irish and anyone else looking for an excuse to wear green, party, or eat Jiggs dinner. It’s a quintessential holiday, but where there’s revelry, there’s also the potential for accidents and injuries—especially on a day where green beer consumption starts at breakfast. For those whom the Irish eyes don’t smile upon, there’s an ICD-10 code for what ails you.

Getting in the Spirit

You start the day with a St. Paddy’s Day parade, but you pay more attention to the floats than where you’re walking: W22.02xA Walked into lamppost, initial encounter. You decide that parades aren’t for you, and instead go searching for a lucky four-leaf clover. In your frollicking, though, you encounter poison ivy instead: L24.7, Irritant contact dermatitis due to plants, except food. From there, you decide to take in a Riverdance class: Y93.49 Activity, other involving dancing and other rhythmic movements. If nothing goes wrong at the class, perhaps you assume the luck o’ the Irish is back on your side and decide to take in some libations.


You’ll find propylene glycol in green food coloring, which is what bars use to dye their beer green. It’s an unfortunate circumstance if you find yourself intolerant of food coloring—or worse, if the food coloring has gone bad: T52.3 Toxic effects of glycols

Let’s say the food coloring has no effect on you, so you imbibe. First, you might feel R42 Dizziness and giddiness. As you explain to fellow bar-goers that it’s St. Paddy’s Day and not Patty’s Day, you find that they all take you less serious, because of your R47.81 Slurred speech. Next thing you know, you’re drunk: F10.129 Alcohol abuse with intoxication, unspecified, and as you laugh boisterously, you W07.XXXA Fall from chair. Fortunately, it’s only your first time doing that (initial encounter). Unfortunately, when you fall, you bump into a man reminiscent of Sea Bass from Dumb & Dumber. He says things; you say things. And the next thing you know, there’s a bar brawl: Y04.0XXA Assault by unarmed brawl or fight, initial encounter.

Clearly the bar scene isn’t for you, but perhaps a Dropkick Murphys’ concert is: Y92.252 Music hall as the place of occurrence of the external cause. Alas, the Dropkick Murphys rock a little too hard for you: H83.3X9 Noise effects on inner ear, unspecified ear.

Waking Up the Next Day

In addition to definitely seeking medical treatment for everything that befell you the night before, you realize you also are tremendously hungover: R51 Headache and R11.2 Nausea with vomiting, unspecified.

The above is clearly a tale of woe—and a tale of St. Paddy’s Day don’ts. So, don’t become an ICD-10 code. Enjoy the occasion and all its festivities responsibly. Have a safe—and magically delicious—St. Patrick’s Day!