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10.7 What are Sequelae (i.e. 'extensions of liability')?


Sequelae are not formally defined by any of the compensation Acts, nor is it a term used elsewhere within the text of those Acts. The term refers to medical conditions which represent a medical consequence of a previously accepted injury or disease, but is other than a simple worsening of that same condition. The main feature of sequelae is that they are different from the original condition (i.e. a sequela has a separate diagnosis). It is a new condition that has arisen out of the effects of that original condition.


Sequelae are not synonymous with aggravations. Read the Section 10.6. of this Handbook on aggravations. Basically, aggravations consist of a factor from the workplace affecting (worsening, accelerating etc.) a pre existing medical condition. A sequelae on the other hand, is where a compensable condition, of its own nature subsequently promotes or contributes to a new ailment (i.e. without the operation of other work related factors).


Note that, virtually by definition, sequelae are diseases (see part 10.5). They are natural progressions of a condition. They are not additional injuries which may have resulted from a further accident even if that further accident is said to have been contributed to by a disability residual from the original injury.