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#81091 - 09/18/02 05:11 AM indicated
johnjohn Offline
member

Registered: 07/05/00
Posts: 167
Loc: Australia
What's the origin of this as a medical term? As in "aspirin is indicated for headaches"? Are ther any other derivatives like "contra indicated"? Do physicians ever use "indications" on its own as a technical noun? Wof, wwh, alex where are you?

jj


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#81092 - 09/18/02 06:40 AM Re: contraindicated
Faldage Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 12/01/00
Posts: 13783
Yes, contraindicated is commonly used when something is not indicated.


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#81093 - 09/18/02 09:16 AM Re: contraindicated
wwh Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 01/18/01
Posts: 13858
I have no idea when the term "indicate" came to be used. Obviously it is an
ass-covering appeal to tradition. My dictionary gives as fourth definition:
4 to point to as the required treatment e.g. "bed rest is indicated"

Yes, I would use it as you did.



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#81094 - 09/18/02 06:20 PM Re: contraindicated
johnjohn Offline
member

Registered: 07/05/00
Posts: 167
Loc: Australia
I realised my question was unclear - I knew about "contra indicated", but wondered whether there were any other compound terms using it eg. to mean "strongly indicatated", etc. I've never heard of any. Also just wonder if you're def. of contraindicated is right - surely it has a negative rather than neutral connotation, ie. something must NOT be given or administered, eg becuase of side-effects or adverse reaction.


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#81095 - 09/18/02 06:34 PM Re: contraindicated
wwh Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 01/18/01
Posts: 13858
I again hadn't paid close enough attention. "Contra-indicated" would be used when any medication
might cause serious side effects based on patient's other problems. For instance, many drugs must
not be given to pregnant women. Patients with problems with blood clotting would not be given
aspirin. Alcohol can dangerously potentiate many medications. Lots and lots of contraindications.
I can't think of any other compound of "indication".


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#81096 - 09/19/02 09:01 PM Re: contraindicated
wofahulicodoc Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 08/06/01
Posts: 4499
Loc: Worcester, MA
Good question! I never thought to ask where that usage came from.

"Indicated" is an absolute term - either something is appropriate under a given circumstance, or not. "Contraindicated," however, has degrees: some things are absolutely and others only relatively contraindicated, depending on the balance of additional risks and benefits. Sometimes the cure is worse than the disease, in which case that cure is containdicated.

Something that is considered absolutely containdicated should not be given under any circumstances, because of a great probability of causing great harm; an example would be giving penicillin again to a patient who has survived an anaphylactic reaction to a previous dose. Even if that patient had, say, severe and life-threatening pneumonia, and penicillin might cure it, we wouldn't use it but would try to find something else that would work. Absolutely contraindicated.

On the other hand, if Coumadin (warfarin sodium) is given to retard clotting, and aspirin makes that tendency greater and could provoke unwanted bleeding, there may be circumstances in which Coumadin has proved to be insufficient to provide the needed protection. In that case aspirin would be considered only relatively contraindicated and might be given anyway, if the risk of clotting was high enough.

It all depends, as usual, on the word "relatively." Relative to what? Risks vs. benefits, always risks vs. benefits.

None of which, of course, sheds light on the origin of this particular usage of "indicated." I would contrive it to mean that among all the choices available, this one can be designated as an appropriate one.


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#81097 - 09/22/02 08:36 PM Re: contraindicated
johnjohn Offline
member

Registered: 07/05/00
Posts: 167
Loc: Australia
<<<None of which, of course, sheds light on the origin of this particular usage of "indicated." I would contrive it to mean that among all the choices available, this one can be designated as an appropriate one.>>>

'Zactly!!! its good shorthand for a concept which you probly need to express several times a day and which all peers and colleagues well understand, but which it takes some effort to define with precision, particularly to lay people, and has no direct lay translation (eg. femur for thigh bone). Seems to me that that is the essence of "jargon" and illustrates the need for it within professions and occupations. Are there any other examples medical and nonmedical? I guess a clear example from my area is a term like "trustee".



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#81098 - 09/22/02 08:57 PM Re: contraindicated
wwh Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 01/18/01
Posts: 13858
Many many possible examples:
"Eighteen days later she
presented with one episode of hemetemesis and melena and passage of blood clots in the T-tube
and colostomy bag. ... "
She vomited blood and had tarry stools. Just aint got that swing.


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#81099 - 09/23/02 06:17 AM Re: contraindicated
Faldage Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 12/01/00
Posts: 13783
Just aint got that swing.

And, to paraphrase myself, why waste six words when nineteen will do just as well.


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#81100 - 09/23/02 06:51 AM Re: contraindicated
wsieber Offline
old hand

Registered: 03/15/00
Posts: 1026
Loc: Switzerland
Are there any other examples medical and nonmedical?
Jargon is of course part of any science. One has to distinguish between special words and special uses of words which also have a meaning in everyday speech. The latter can be more troublesome. If I say "salt" in my kitchen, I don't have to specifiy "sodium chloride", but in the chemistry labs, there are thousands of salts, sodium chloride being just one of them. The same applies to "sugar". On the other hand, in chemistry there is only one "iron", contrary to golf.


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