Complications Arising From the Continual Use of Pain Relieving Medications

by Gerard Malouf Solicitor

Posted on Sunday 2nd of November 2008

As a result of injuries sustained in work accident or motor vehicle claim accidents or other injuries sustained, it is common for doctors to prescribe apart from other forms of treatment, medications for pain relief. These can be non-steroid or anti-inflammatories and stronger types of pain relieving medication. Often, such medication is used on a long term basis, and it is in these instances where complications can arise. The type of problems in the gastrointestinal tract is in part related to the long term ingestion of tablets related to

1. pain relief
2. relief of stress
3. relief of symptoms of diorreia

Often the ingestion of medications has been for months or even years for the relief of pain or in such instances to assist in the management of depression and stress following an injury.

In relation to the type of symptoms one would develop these can be listed as follows:

1. pain in the upper part of the abdomen just below the rib cage, possibly with some radiation through to the back and possibly radiating to the left or right side.

2. nausea with or without the ingestion of food

3. vomiting which may or may not be accompanied by specks of blood

4. pain accompanied by burning sensation in the upper abdomen, possibly aggravated by food

5. the need to take antacid liquids or tablets usually recommended by the patients GP

6. multiple visits to the GP because of the pain in the abdomen

7. diorreia aggravated by food and accompanied by bleeding, fresh blood or dark blood in the stool

8. pain in the abdomen aggravated by the ingestion of food

9. change of lifestyle due to severe pain

10. loss of appetite

11. change of work and social activity because of change of bowel function including diorreia

12. waking at night because of abdomen pain

13. history of duodenal or gastric ulcer

All the above symptoms can reasonably be related to the long term ingestion of medication for the relief of pain. Gerard Malouf and Partners in investigating and preparing claims on behalf of their clients, specifically look at these types of symptoms to determine whether it would be appropriate in the circumstances to ensure that our clients are also examined by one of our independent and specialised gastroenterological specialist’s.

Under the relevant legislation, whether it be the Motor Accident Compensation Act of the Workers Compensation both forms of legislation determine the level of impairment based on a percentage which is calculated by the doctors to determine percentage of Whole Person Impairment relating to AMA 4th Edition (Motor Vehicle Accident Claims), and AMA 5th Edition (Workers Compensation Claims).

A gastroenterologist providing a report in relation to commenting on these symptoms is also able to allocate a significant degree of Whole Person Impairment percentage to the injury which will assist in getting it over the relevant thresholds whether they be under the Motor Accident Compensation Act or the Workers Compensation Act. Once over these thresholds, significant compensation is then attributable to the injury.

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