You’d think the damn ICD-10 billing codes would be able to accommodate this, but no. With a bazillion different codes for every possible injury, illness or malady, you would hope someone somewhere would have seen this coming. But they didn’t. 

There is not a single, solitary ICD-10 code for Monkey Bite in a Home Depot. Not one. There is Diagnosis Code B08.72 covering “Yaba monkey tumor virus infection”. Or Diagnosis Code W53.21 for “bitten by squirrel.” There is Diagnosis Code S31.805 for “Open bite of unspecified buttock.” They even have Diagnosis Code S31.835, for “Open bite of anus.”

Ironically there is no code for “Contraction of Yaba monkey tumor virus infection through open squirrel bite of unspecified anus.” And there is no code for the Home Depot Monkey bite. Which means the poor employee of an Okeechobee, FL Home Depot who was bitten by a dumbass customer’s monkey will be left wandering the hospital without a billable treatment. 

And that’s just wrong.

And here’s another question: Who on God’s green earth brings a pet monkey to the store??? What kind of a dimwit nimnal does that? I suppose I should first fill in a few details – at least the few that I have. I’ll make up the rest.

Last weekend in Okeechobee, a woman brought her pet spider monkey on a shopping trip to The Home Depot. She left the monkey inside her truck while she went inside the store. The previously aforementioned monkey, who was on a leash, managed to escape the truck and began a leisurely stroll through the parking lot. The soon to be ravaged Home Depot employee saw said monkey and was worried it could get hurt. She picked up the monkey’s leash and headed for the store to find the oblivious idiot who owned it.

Pausing for another question: Sure, the customer didn’t actually take the monkey in to the store, but instead left it in the truck. Have you ever been to Okeechobee in June? Have you been anywhere in Florida in June? It’s hot, people, and only imbeciles leave their animals in the car in Florida this time of year. 30 minutes in a turned off vehicle and she would’ve had chunky monkey stew. 

It was reported that after taking up the leash, the monkey climbed on the employees back, bit her twice, and scratched her face. Then, CBS Miami reports, “It bit her again when the store’s sliding glass doors opened as the employee was trying to locate its owner.” I personally believe that should read, “It bit her again when the store’s sliding glass doors opened as the employee was scrambling to safety and trying to get the ungrateful monkey off her back.”

Personally, I think this new trend to take your animals with you wherever you go has gotten way out of hand. We’ve all heard the horror stories coming from the airlines, where people are claiming all sorts of creatures, including lizards and peacocks as “comfort animals.” One woman flushed her “emotional support hamster” down an airport toilet when the airline wouldn’t let it fly (I ask you to think deeply about that entire action for a moment, and the mockery it makes of the entire comfort animal genre). 

As for this latest story of inappropriate animals in inappropriate places, CBS Miami reports that the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) was notified of the incident. It also reports that it “is unknown if any action was taken against the owner of the monkey or the monkey itself.”

I am disturbed at the notion that the monkey might be subject to some form of punishment. The monkey didn’t do anything wrong. It simply did what monkeys do; climb on things and bite people. I also do not blame the employee. She was concerned for an animal’s safety and tried to intervene. The Home Depot now has a workers’ compensation claim directly attributable to a customer’s thoughtless actions. It should never have been brought to a retail store to begin with. I am sure many people will agree with me when I say I hope they didn’t spank the monkey.

Instead, they should work on the clear failure of the ICD-10’s to anticipate this particular issue. After all, there may be other thoughtless monkey owners out there somewhere.

 

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