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SIDE EFFECTS & SEQUELAE

An adverse effect may be termed a "side effect" when judged to be secondary to a main or therapeutic effect. If it results from an unsuitable or incorrect dosage or procedure, it is called a medical error and not a complication. Adverse effects are sometimes referred to as "iatrogenic" because they are generated by a physician or treatment. See Wikipedia; also see Iatrogenesis

Sequela (pl. sequelae): "abnormal condition that follows and is the result of a disease, treatment, or injury, such as paralysis after poliomyelitis, deafness after treatment with an ototoxic drug, or scar formation after a laceration."  Or "a morbid condition following or occurring as a consequence of another condition or event."  Or "The consequences of a particular condition or therapeutic intervention." Defined

In workers' compensation practice, side effects and sequelae may become compensable consequences, which are not new injuries with new dates of injury but the result of an injury or the treatment for the injury.  These issues often require substantial medical evidence and legal analysis.

See, too, Causation and Injury

Label Item Links Comments
Websites FDA: Side Effects: Questions and Answers FDA Q&A  
  WebMD: Drug Side Effects Explained Drug Side Effects Explained  
  Drugwatch: Prescription Drug Side Effects


Drugwatch: Defective Medical Devices
Prescription Drug Side Effects

Defective Medical Devices
 
Practice Tips The attorney should research side effects of medications and medical procedures or other forms of treatment. This includes injuries arising from exercise recommended by a treater. See SCIF v. IAC (Wallin) (1959) 176 Cal.App.2d 10 for analysis of the underlying concepts.

It is important to tie up lose ends and get an admissible medical report connecting the dots and complying with the substantial evidence rules. Assumptions that a rash was caused by a medication prescribed by a treater for a work injury does not prove that, even if "rash" is listed as a side-effect of the medication. That assumption could be deemed a “cum hoc” or “post hoc” logical fallacy unless you obtain a medical opinion based on reasonable medical probability that the medication caused the rash.
 
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