Volunteers help educate paramedics about SCAD

Patients tell their SCAD stories to first responders

Trustee Sarah Coombes led a training session for paramedics on 19 January, with the help of three SCAD patient volunteers.

Paramedics from the South East Coast Ambulance Service took part in a Zoom session where Sarah provided information about SCAD and volunteers Rose, Zoe and Paul told their stories and talked about their experience as SCAD patients.

Discussing the range of symptoms experienced by male and female patients, those who are perimenopausal, pregnant or post-partum, as well as those who had a cardiac arrest, illustrated clearly to the paramedics that there is no such thing as a ‘typical’ SCAD patient or ‘typical’ SCAD symptoms. This knowledge helps raise the ‘index of suspicion’ when paramedics (and other healthcare professionals) are presented with a patient who doesn’t fit the normal profile of a cardiac patient.

The group were very interested and appreciative of the opportunity to learn about SCAD directly from patients and committed to passing on the information to their teams.

Alan Rice, Associate Professor Paramedic Practice, Work Force Development Paramedic Lead, School of Allied Health, Midwifery and Social Care at Kingston University and St George’s, said: “Huge, huge thank you. One of the best patient-led sessions I’ve ever seen.”

Many thanks to the paramedics for their interest and to Sarah, Rose, Zoe and Paul for telling their stories.

Sarah Coombes, Trustee