Sequela(e)

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Hello everyone,


Are my uses of "sequelae" appropriate/common in everyday language? If not, what do you suggest?

a. Doctor, will he have any sequelae from this accident?
b. Mrs. Brown, I have to tell you that this disease with leave sequelae. It will leave your son with sequelae.

Sequela(e): any abnormality following or resulting from a disease or injury or treatment. [Babylon Dictionary]

Have sequelae: my definition: suffer from the abnormalities
Leave with sequelae: my definition: make somebody suffer from the abnormalities


Thank you in advance!
 
  • Edinburgher

    Senior Member
    German/English bilingual
    Never heard of it. It may be common medical jargon, but it hasn't really, to my knowledge, hit the streets.

    In (b), poor old Mrs Brown is apt to be completely stumped by what the doctor is saying, while in (a) she might ask whether the accident will leave any scars, or have any after-effects.
     

    e2efour

    Senior Member
    UK English
    It's common medical terminology (meaning consequences or after-effects, in a negative sense). But I don't think a doctor is likely to use it in speech unless they were presenting a technical report. I would prefer have (any) sequelae.
     

    Giorgio Spizzi

    Senior Member
    Italian
    Hullo.

    From the Webster Third New International Dictionary (unabridged):

    sequela, n. pl sequelae [NL , fr. L, sequel]: 1: an aftereffect of disease or injury [example sentences] 2: a secondary result: CONSEQUENCE [example sentence].

    Some of us — especially in the medical arena — use it in Italian.

    GS
     

    JulianStuart

    Senior Member
    English (UK then US)
    It is a medical/clinical term. In my experience it is used more often as the concept than a specific or several specifics. It is loosely similar in usage to the word consequence, so I would not point to an abnormality and say "That's a sequela". I'm not a physician, so we can wait for one to chime in with some illustrative examples. "Those (abnormalities) were sequelae from the (condition/disease)."

    Cross-posted
     

    ewie

    Senior Member
    English English
    I've come across it once or twice but thought it was just a fancy word for (general, non-medical) after-effects.
     

    Giorgio Spizzi

    Senior Member
    Italian
    Here goes, Julian:

    1.
    <enteritis ... as sequela of indigestion — F.B. Hadley >< the necessity for frequent blood counts to avoid serious sequelae — G.F. Dick>
    2. < the poisonous sequelae of war — R.M. MacIver>

    GS
     

    JulianStuart

    Senior Member
    English (UK then US)
    Here goes, Julian:

    1.
    <enteritis ... as sequela of indigestion — F.B. Hadley >< the necessity for frequent blood counts to avoid serious sequelae — G.F. Dick>
    2. < the poisonous sequelae of war — R.M. MacIver>

    GS
    Thanks GS! Almost always, it seems, we can use "consequence(s)" in place of the s word and have little change in meaning.
     

    JulianStuart

    Senior Member
    English (UK then US)
    In terms of recovering from an accident (as in your example), it's likely there will be the "short-term" issues like bruising , swelling etc. but you seem to be asking about long-term, or lasting consequences. I would recommend including an adjective like "long-term" or "long-lasting" in your question whether you use the word sequelae, consequences or after-effects.
     

    Parla

    Member Emeritus
    English - US
    Yes, it's a common term in medical parlance. But a physician would be unlikely to use it to a patient, and a patient would be highly unlikely to use it in asking a doctor a question, as occurs in your dialog (I presume you're writing a story or play), unless the questioner is himself or herself in the medical field. A lay person would ask about after-effects. Or, more likely, would start by mentioning their absence: "Doctor, will he be totally okay?" Or, "Will he be back to normal?" Then, "Will he be disabled?" In the case of an accident, maybe more specific questions (e.g., "Will he be able to use that arm normally?").
     
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