COMPLICATION, in medicine , is an unfavorable evolution or consequence of a disease , a health condition or a therapy . The disease can become worse in its severity or show a higher number of signs, symptoms or new pathological changes, become widespread throughout the body or affect other organ systems. A new disease may also appear as a complication to a previous existing disease. A medical treatment, such as drugs or surgery may produce adverse effects and/or produce new health problem(s) by itself. Therefore, a complication may be iatrogenic , i.e., literally brought forth by the physician.
Medical knowledge about a disease, procedure or treatment usually entails a list of the most common complications, so that they can be foreseen, prevented or recognized more easily and speedily.
Depending on the degree of vulnerability, susceptibility, age , health status, immune system condition, etc. complications may arise more easily. Complications affect adversely the prognosis of a disease. Non-invasive and minimally invasive medical procedures usually favor fewer complications in comparison to invasive ones.
Disorders that are concomitant but are not caused by the other disorder are comorbidities . This conceptual dividing line is sometimes blurred by the complexity of the causation or the lack of definite information about it. The terms sequela and complication are often synonymous , although complication connotes that the resultant condition complicates the management of the causative condition (makes it more complex and challenging).
* 1 Examples of complications * 2 Causes * 3 Related topics * 4 References * 5 Further reading
EXAMPLES OF COMPLICATIONS
* Generalized septicemia (infection of the blood) may occur as a
complication of an infected wound or abscess
* Allergic shock can be a reaction to several kinds of anesthetics ,
as a complication in a surgery
* Fractured ribs and sternum may be a complication of
cardiopulmonary resuscitation attempts in people suffering severe
Puerperal fever may be a common complication of childbirth and
used to kill a large proportion of mothers before the advent of
antisepsis and antibiotics
Diabetes mellitus may present a series of complications in an
advanced or more severe stage, such as gangrene , diabetic foot ,
blindness , infections , etc.
There may be financial pressures which act in opposition to preventing complications. A United States study found that hospitals make more money per patient when patients have complications.