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"My heart attack and experience of Hairmyres Hospital this week."

About: Scottish Ambulance Service / Emergency Ambulance University Hospital Hairmyres / Cardiology

(as the patient),

I suffered a heart attack on late Saturday night at a friends 60th birthday party at Hamilton Rugby Club. I was so very luck that many of my fiends had a nursing, dental or were trained first aiders. The club manager phoned quickly and a paramedic was dispatched urgently. My friends got me in the right position and reassured me until the paramedic arrived. Other friends made sure that the over party goers did not enter the room I was in but gave them information on what was happening. This allowed me to be in the best environment for this to happen. The paramedic quickly arrived and got to work and monitored and administered the relevant medicine. He was a calming presence and very professional.. Another friend manned the entrance to the club to ensure the ambulance got in quickly when they arrived.

I was then transferred from the care of the paramedic to the same professional care of the two ambulance men. My wife accompanied me in the ambulance and was given the relevant information on my condition. Another friend who is a Physiotherapist, at Hairmyers but is on maternity leave took my 2 sons to A & E following the ambulance. I as quickly admitted to A & E and  seen quickly and professionally by the team in A & E. Myself and  my family were constantly updated with as much information as the team could give us. This was in a busy Saturday night/ Sunday morning A & E environment. I was transferred at approx 3.-4 am to ward 2. I was again looked after and given all the relevant tests etc by the ward team. On the ward round the doctors confirmed I had a heart attack and the likely options and timescales for my treatment. My added complication was that I had my oldest sons wedding to attend on Friday. The doctors and nurses acknowledged that whilst this was obviously important their priority was my immediate and future wellbeing. Over the next couple of days I was seen by Consulant, cardiologists, all explaining what would happen before, during and after any procedure. All during this time I was looked after with well prepared healthy meals with a choice to suit most people all served by friendly attentive staff. Iced water was always available and nothing seemed to be too much trouble for any of the staff to make sure I was both comfortable and informed. I was told By the cardiologist on the Monday that I would have a angiogram which depending on what this showed could lead to angioplas, stents or possibly by pass surgery. This would take place within the next 24-48 hours. I was transferred to CCU on the Monday. All the staff were again professional friendly and kept me and my family informed of my treatment and condition.. I was seen by the physiotherapist who explained what I could do or couldn't do and timescales for the recovery period. I was given information about a post op excercice plan led by the Physiotherapists twice weekly over an 8 week period which I confirmed I would attend. I was also seen by the cardio rehab nurse who explained what my recovery plan would entail along with medication and lifestyle changes. Both left me with good quality written literature which will be invaluable going forward. I fortunately got a slot for the Tueday afternoon and was prepped and was seen by the surgeon who again explained what the procedure entailed and likely outcomes. I was then taken into the operating theatre and given the angiogram which indicated narrowing of one of the arteries and a stent was duly inserted. All during this a was informed by the surgeon and the operating team what as happening, what possible discomfort I could feel and actions they were taking. As it was I felt nothing!

After completing the procedure the surgeon showed me the before and after picture of the heart and affected artery which illustrated  graphically where the problem was. I had already began to  better from the Sunday afternoon but felt even better after the operation. I was quickly transferred back to care of the CCU team who monitored me closely ensuring again that I was comfortable and informed. Slight temperature rise meant I had to 2 blood test to ensure no infection. I was finally given a discharge on the Wednesday night at 7.00pm . I was give my medication ( I had been seen by the pharmacist earlier to confirm any current medication and possible allergies) and discharge letter, GP letter etc.

I know this might sound or look like  I was given "special" treatment but the reality was I observed my fellow patients that everyone was given the same caring professional  treatment and all with a smile. My thanks to all who were involved in my treatment and recovery, everyday heroes everyone


Response from Lise Axford, Senior Nurse, Emergency Medicine, University Hospital Hairmyres, NHS Lanarkshire

picture of Lise Axford

Dear Brig a Doon

Thank you for sharing your recent experience. What a shame that you were at your friends birthday party, however it sounds like there were many people there to support and care for you and everyone rallied to give you privacy and reassurance at such a worrying time.

I am so pleased to read that your journey through the hospital was so positive and that all staff members communicated well and explained all procedures. I will share your comments with the many teams involved as feedback is important to all of us. Staff will be delighted that all team members were professional and smiling and made a difference to your care. It is really heart warming to read.

I hope that you are continuing in your recovery and wish you all the best for the future. Thank you again for writing, it does mean a lot to staff to read such positive comments and we appreciate you taking the time.

Best wishes to you and your family


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Response from Carolyn Bell, Physiotherapy Lead, University Hospital Monklands, NHS Lanarkshire

picture of Carolyn Bell

Thank you for sharing your experience with us.

I am pleased that you found the information provided by the Physiotherapist useful. Hopefully understanding the pathway to recovery will help to allay some of your anxieties at this time.

I will ensure that the staff are made aware of your feedback.

Wishing you well in your ongoing recovery.


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Response from Alan Martin, Patient Experience Manager, Corporate Affairs and Engagement, Scottish Ambulance Service

picture of Alan Martin

Dear Brig o Doon,

Thank you very much for sharing your feedback with us on CareOpinion. I am sorry to read that you had such an event at a party. It must have been very stressful for yourself and all who were there.

It is great to read that our staff provided you with the reassurance that you really needed at that time and treated you appropriately.

It would be great to send this feedback across to the staff members who attended you. If you are ok with this can you email me at and provide us with the date, time and address of where the ambulance attended anlong with your details? This will allow us to source the call and let the staff and their managers know what a good job they have done.

I hope you are on the road to a full recovery and I wish you all the best.

Kind Regards


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