Paramedics learn about SCAD

Paramedics learn about SCAD

Paramedics are often the first healthcare professionals to come to the aid of SCAD patients, so raising awareness in this area is important to ensure they ‘think SCAD’.

Trustee Karen Rockell takes every opportunity to educate people about SCAD, so when an ambulance was called to help her cousin after a bad fall in Oxford while Karen was visiting last September, she wasted no time discussing SCAD with the ambulance crew.

After paramedic Danny Warr and his trainee had treated her cousin, Karen asked if they knew about SCAD. Briefly explaining what it is, Karen gave Danny her contact details and pointed him to the Beat SCAD website for more information.

Fast forward to early 2019 and Emma Roberts from South Central Ambulance Service contacted Karen, having been told about SCAD by Danny. She invited Karen to give a talk about SCAD to 12 paramedics and trainees at the North Oxfordshire Station at Adderbury on 20 February.

Her talk included information about the mechanics and symptoms of SCAD, as well as treatment options. She also told some patient stories to highlight how SCAD affects young, fit people. This was followed by a very lively discussion covering many subjects including genetics, the SCAD research, recurrent SCADs and how paramedics can help SCAD patients by being aware of the symptoms in those who do not have the usual risk factors

Karen said: “Educating two paramedics in September was good, but I was so pleased Danny discussed SCAD with Emma, and that they were so proactive in wanting to learn about the condition.”

Danny told us: “The team really enjoyed it and learnt a lot. We will spread the word.”

 Pictured are the group of paramedics with Karen.

 

SCAD patient educates future doctors

Raising awareness among health professionals is a key mission for Beat SCAD and SCAD patient Louise Pearson has recently been educating medical students at the Royal Derby Hospital, Nottingham University School of Medicine.

Louise was one of four volunteers who took part in an education session for first-year students at the Medical School. The session gives students experience in taking medical histories, learning how to ask open and closed questions, showing empathy while retaining the information to feed back to the group for constructive criticism.

Louise talked about her ‘event’ to four groups of about 12 students and their tutors, without saying that it was SCAD. After her medical history had been taken, the students gave their diagnoses, which included Pulmonary Embolism, angina and an asthma-related attack. Louise then revealed to the group that she had actually had a SCAD.

She said: “There were some very shocked reactions and immediately all the pens were busy making notes!”

The group discussed the reasons Louise’s symptoms pointed to a heart attack and “on some occasions they picked up on how the medics ruled out a heart attack too early in my case”.

She added: “It’s one of the most thrilling experiences to tell the tutors too, because they are usually unaware of SCAD. I did this process four times, so informed around 45 students, half the yearly intake.”

Louise also handed out our SCAD for health professionals leaflet, so the students had a reminder of the unusual case they had tried to diagnose.

Well done and a big thanks to Louise for informing the doctors of the future!