Spontaneous Coronary Artery Dissection (SCAD) is an uncommon emergency condition in which a ‘tear’ happens within the layers of the wall of the artery. This leads to blood becoming trapped in the artery, forming a clot which causes a partial or complete blockage. This can lead to a possible heart attack, abnormal heart rhythm, or even sudden death if not treated promptly.
Researchers are not fully sure what causes SCAD, but it is known that 80 per cent of sufferers are women and 30 per cent of those are nearing the end of a pregnancy or have recently given birth. Most people with SCAD are otherwise healthy and might not have any risk factors for heart disease. It tends to occur in people between the ages of 19 and 64.
The SCAD Support Group was set up by Pauline O’Shea with the support of the Irish Heart Foundation. Pauline had a SCAD three days after the birth of her daughter. The group was launched on 9th March 2019.
The SCAD Support group aims to give support to those affected and increase awareness of the condition among the medical community. It aims to work with Irish and other European experts to ensure that all those diagnosed with SCAD receive prompt and appropriate treatment and an equal standard of care.
The SCAD Support Group holds national information meetings, which support group members will be invited to attend. Please note our support group functions on a national basis; we do not have small local groups that you can physically attend.
The SCAD Support Group has a Facebook page where members can share experiences and offer each other support.
Membership is free of charge. To join the support group, please email Tracy Egan at the Irish Heart Foundation.