AMA: Scurvy Sailing into Offices
Scurvy, the vitamin C deficiency disease most often associated with toothless sailors, is popping up around the country among the elderly and other vulnerable patients, according to a recent article in the American Medical Association’s (AMA) AMedNews, and you may find yourself coding it.
Coded ICD-9-CM 267 Ascorbic acid deficiency, scurvy is found in patients who, for some reason, don’t have access to foods with vitamin C. Symptoms include spots on the skin, spongy gums, lethargy, and bleeding from mucous membranes. It can lead to far worse consequences than leg pain and tooth loss when patients eventually succumb to the disease.
Cases in journals identify children with poor diets, the homeless, the mentally ill, the elderly, and others as potential victims. “People think it is not a problem at all in this country, but when it occurs, it’s huge,” Toby Maurer, MD, an asssociate professor of dermatology at the University of California, San Francisco, said in the article.
Click the link to read the AmedNews article in its entirety on the AMA Web site.