FAQs for patients2019-09-23T07:08:04+10:00

FAQs for SCAD patients

What are the symptoms of a SCAD Heart Attack?2019-09-09T09:58:00+10:00

The same as for any heart attack, although they may differ between men and women. Women are more likely to experience pain in their jaw, neck or back, nausea and feeling light headed or unusually tired. If you’re not sure whether you could be having a heart attack, please seek urgent medical advice and make sure you tell the doctor, nurses or paramedics about your previous SCAD Heart Attack.

recognise your heart attack

Image Source: The Heart Foundation 

If I experience chest pain, when should I go to hospital?2019-09-09T09:54:14+10:00

If you experience shortness of breath or sustained pain for longer than 5 minutes, call triple zero (000) and inform them that you have previously had a SCAD heart attack.

Can I exercise after I have a SCAD?2019-10-27T23:58:25+11:00

Depending on the severity of your SCAD, you should be able to return to exercise starting with cardiac rehabilitation. Even if you are back to a similar pre-SCAD exercise routine, we do not recommend going running alone or exercising in isolated areas.

However, the people who had their SCAD episode whilst exercising rigorously should return to exercise very slowly and avoid workouts, such as weightlifting (isometric exercise), which is known to increase blood pressure.


What is the chance of recurrence?2019-10-27T23:59:26+11:00

According to studies, there is an approximate 30% chance of reoccurrence over a 10 year time frame. The survival rate for subsequent heart attacks is very high as survivors are aware of the symptoms and call triple zero (000).


When can I return to sexual activity?2019-09-09T09:52:26+10:00

As each case of SCAD is different, each person’s ability to return to their normal routine will vary. By undertaking cardiac rehabilitation and talking to your clinician, you should be guided to when an appropriate time will be to return to sexual activity. 

Unfortunately, there is no good information about this issue, but the good news is that most SCAD tears heal within a few months. This will depend on the size and complexity of the tear.

When can I drive again after a SCAD?2019-10-28T00:00:02+11:00

People can generally drive a few days after they are dismissed from hospital unless cautioned to wait longer by their doctor.


Is it safe to have a baby after a SCAD?2019-10-30T22:14:31+11:00

If you have had an episode of SCAD, it is recommended that you avoid pregnancy altogether and use a non-hormonal form of birth control, such as an intrauterine device. Some heart medications can harm an unborn child and some SCAD complications can significantly increase a mother’s risk of carrying a baby to term. The decision to become pregnant is a serious one and should be made in concert with your cardiologist to assess your cardiac risks, maternal-fetal health specialists to assess a baby’s risk and with a recognition that there is an increased risk for recurrent SCAD with a pregnancy.

Is it hereditary?2019-09-09T09:51:01+10:00

SCAD almost definitely occurs in those with a genetic predisposition and can occur in several members of a family. However, the inheritance or genetic link is unclear, and in most cases only one member of a family is affected.