Spontaneous Coronary Artery Dissection

51yr old nurse with no risk factors- a thankful SCAD survivor May 2015

August 18, 2015

I am an RN at a hospital in London, Ontario. I was sitting at my desk at work when I began to have chest pain ,sweating, shortness of breath. I thought it was indigestion-couldn’t possibly be anything cardiac as I am perfectly healthy with no risk factors. For 45 minutes I suffered through the pain. I finally had one of my colleagues do an ECG and sure enough the ECG showed ST depression- I was having a heart attack. I was sent to ER where they drew blood work and my troponins were elevated.
I was admitted me to CCU. They performed an angiogram the next day and discovered a dissection in my LAD. the doctor chose to monitor me and kept me in hospital. Thank goodness he did because 2 days later I further dissected with symptoms presenting while I was calmly talking with my nurse. The dissection occluded my LAD and a stent was inserted from my mid to distal LAD.
Not one of my colleagues or CCU nurses had heard of SCAD.
I am recovering and trying to come to terms with this diagnosis that has changed my life. It is scary because both of my incidents happened when I was sitting calmly. I am hopeful that I won’t have anymore dissections but of course there is no guarantee.So I am enjoying my life and modifying my activity- no heavy lifting.
So thankful that it happened at work where I was treated quickly and efficiently. The support of my friends and family has been amazing and I truly feel very fortunate.