7th Character: (S) Sequela
A Seq...Well... uhh... ? se·quela | \ si-ˈkwe-lə \ plural sequelae\ si-ˈkwe-(ˌ)lē
Sequela, is a Latin word that means "that which follows." Therefore, medically speaking, a sequela is a condition which is a consequence, or residual effect, of a previous disease, injury, or other trauma. A sequela is typically a chronic condition that follows an acute condition. For ICD-10-CM purposes, the seventh letter "S"which is used to designate the treatment of a sequela, is attached to the original injury code, NOT the sequela itself.
Reporting of sequelae usually require at least two codes:
(FIRST): The sequela condition that is currently being treated as a result of the sequela
(SECOND): The sequela code (the original injury code followed with the seventh character "S")
There is no time limit on reporting sequelae. Some sequelae are quickly apparent, such as paralysis following a stroke, or may appear later, such as a contracture following a tendon injury.
NEVER use the code for the acute phase of an illness or injury that led to the sequela with a code for the late effect. Sequelae are NOT reported as symptoms.