Sep 23, 2019
Even with decades of experience as a cardiology nurse, Kristin O'Meara initially dismissed her own warning signs of a heart attack, relying on the fact she was healthy and active. Hours later, O'Meara would find herself in the emergency room recovering from a heart attack caused by a condition many otherwise healthy women suffer from: spontaneous coronary artery dissection, commonly referred to as SCAD. Many patients, paramedics, and even doctors are unaware of the condition, leaving them to associate heart attack symptoms with less dire ailments, like panic attacks. Cardiologists and SCAD experts Dr. Malissa Wood of Massachusetts General Hospital and Dr. Sharonne Hayes of the Mayo Clinic enlighten us on the rare but acute condition, which causes 40 percent of heart attacks in women under age 50.