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If the long, gray days of winter have you hankering for sunny skies and warmer temps, we have good news: the vernal equinox has arrived!

This year the vernal equinox, also called the spring equinox, fell on March 20, marking the official beginning of spring. The change of seasons has been the cornerstone of festivals and rituals for thousands of years in nearly every corner of the world, and many vernal equinox traditions are still alive and well.

To help you prepare for any warm-weather mishaps, we’ve compiled a list of the ICD-10 codes you will most likely need during the coming months.


L55.9 Sunburn

W13.8XXA Fall from, out of, or through building or structure

For over 2,000 years, sun worshipers have gathered at the Pyramid of the Sun in Teotihuacán, Mexico, to celebrate the vernal equinox. This ancient Mexican structure is the third-largest pyramid in the world, standing an impressive 210 feet. If celebrants stay a little too long at the top – or if they take a less-than-graceful way down – they may find L55.9 and W13.8XXA in their electronic health records.

England and France

H72.00 Central perforation of tympanic membrane, unspecified ear

T78.05XA Anaphylactic reaction due to tree nuts and seeds

X03.8XXA Exposure to uncontrolled fire

F10.9 Alcohol use

Druids marked the arrival of spring with the vernal equinox festival Alban Eiler. This Druidic ritual included loud horn-blowing, hazelnuts, whiskey, and fire. To this day, members of the Ancient Order of Druids meet to participate in these spring celebrations. Any doctor treating a Druidic partygoer may want to remember H72.00, T78.05XA, X03, and F10.9.  


62351 Rabbit fever

Z91.012 Allergy to eggs

In some Pagan traditions, the spring equinox is celebrated as Eostre, named after the German goddess of spring, or Ostara, after the Anglo-Saxon goddess with similar characteristics. The symbols of these goddesses – eggs and rabbits – have since been attributed to Easter in Western cultures. In fact, the Easter Rabbit was said to be Ostara’s most faithful companion, who helped her usher in the spring season. If these Pagan celebrations go awry, you may need 62351 and Z91.12.


T25.022A Burn of unspecified degree of left foot

W16.722 Jumping or diving from boat

Not all vernal equinox celebrations have ancient origins. For example, at the Annapolis Maritime Museum, yachters burn their socks to signal the start of spring. It’s said that the yachters tends to wear deck shoes without socks in the warmer months that follow the vernal equinox. Burning socks is the perfect way to prepare for sunny days on the starboard side. If an overeager yachter doesn’t follow instructions, you may just need T25.022A and W16.722.

Great Britain

Y93.18 Activity, surfing, windsurfing and boogie boarding

X37.42XA Tidal wave due to storm, initial encounter

English surfers celebrate the arrival of spring by braving the Severn bore, a tidal surge that reaches its peak height around the vernal equinox. Boarders gather in the Severn Estuary of England to ride the four-foot waves, which are caused by the unique movements of the sun and moon during the equinox period. But when the ultimate wave leads to a trip to the ER, Y93.18 and X37.42XA may come in handy.

Other spring ICD-10 codes

T63.441A Toxic effect of bee sting

J30.1 Allergic rhinitis due to pollen

April showers bring May flowers. May flowers bring sting-bearing pollinators and some serious cases of hay fever. You may need T63.441A and J30.1 for patients who have unfortunate reactions to the springtime weather.  

E55.9 Vitamin D deficiency, unspecified

F32.9 Major depressive disorder, single episode, unspecified

For many who live in unpredictable climates, spring can be a finicky season. When spring snowstorms dash the hopes of soaking in the sun, E55.9 and F32.9 may be in order.

About the Author

Wendy Aiken, PMI-ACP, has been at AdvancedMD since 2011 as a product manager. Having worked on the front lines of the medical industry for more than two decades, Aiken is now adding her real-world expertise to the medical software industry.

Contact the Author


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