5 LACA episodes for Survivors

When I was in a meeting today I was reminded that my podcast – Life After Cardiac Arrest – is still very much listened to – despite me not having recorded one for almost 2 years! (How time flies when you’re in a pandemic).

I did a quick check to see how the stats were going and I was amazed to see that it had well over 20,000 listens and had reached listeners in almost 100 countries!

I’ll be using this post as a reminder to get the mic out again and record some more episodes, but I thought I’d just do a post with 5(+1) episodes for survivors to listen to.

You can listen to the podcasts using the built-in player or via Spotify, Apple, Google or pretty much any other podcast player.

And here they are…


The first episode is with SCAUK friend and longtime supporter, consultant cardiologist Dr Tom Keeble. We chat about beta-blockers and other medications that cardiac arrest survivors and other cardiac patients might be prescribed with. The conversation touches on what beta-blockers are, what they do, why they are commonly prescribed, dosages, activities and side effects such as tiredness. Additionally, Dr Keeble talks about the common medication protocol for those who have experienced a heart attack (myocardial infarction) and explains what each medication is aiming to do. If you suffer from hay fever you may be interested also in his explanation of anti-histamines and the variability of their use in cardiac patients.

Dr Keeble is a consultant cardiologist and researcher at the Essex Cardiothoracic CentreSouthend Hospital and Anglia Ruskin University. In episode #002 of the show, he talked about his work with cardiac arrest survivors and his CARE (Care After Resuscitation programme).



Sequelae is not a word that many people are familiar with, and even though it is very pertinent to sudden cardiac arrest survivors it’s probably not one they would have heard of before. It simply means a condition which is the consequence of a previous disease or injury and in survivors, this could be down to a number of factors. Many survivors report having a wide range of “symptoms” post-arrest and often it is not clear or explained as to why they happen. In this episode, I talk about the impact that anoxia/hypoxia can have on the brain and the issues that it can cause and the results of a survey which shows the most common issues experienced by survivors.



Most people have trouble with their memory at some time, but being an SCA survivor brings its own problems. In this episode, I spoke with the world-renowned clinical neuropsychologist Professor Barbara Wilson OBE. Amongst her many achievements, Barbara founded the Oliver Zangwill Centre for brain injury rehabilitation and also authored over 200 papers and 30 books on the subject. She has a wealth of experience regarding memory issues, which is one of the top post-arrest issues that survivors report. She talks about what memory is, how a cardiac arrest survivor’s memory can be affected by their downtime, how the brain works and some of the strategies that can be used to alleviate memory problems.



The number one sequelae post-cardiac arrest. Here I spoke with fatigue expert Donna Malley, who is an Occupational Therapist Clinical Specialist at the Oliver Zangwill Centre for brain injury rehabilitation. She has over 30 years of experience and has a keen interest in working with patients who experience fatigue after a brain injury. Amongst contributing to numerous studies she also authored our excellent fatigue leaflet and one for the brain injury charity Headway, Managing Fatigue. She talks about the various types of fatigue and how they can impact a cardiac arrest survivor. She also provides some useful insights and strategies that can be used to help alleviate the effects of fatigue. Another essential listen from the team at the OZC!


Mental Health

In this episode, I chatted with mental health counsellor and therapist Liz Sharpe. Through her business Live Your Life Therapies, Liz helps people deal with various mental health issues including dealing with trauma. Liz presented a well received practical workshop at the Sudden Cardiac Arrest UK Guinness World Record Attempt which led her to go on and work at the Essex Cardiothoracic Centre treating patients as part of the Care After REsuscitation clinic. A great chat about mental health care with some great practical tips that anyone can use.


Bonus episode

A bonus episode about a device that many sudden cardiac arrest survivors have implanted, an ICD – Implantable Cardioverter Defibrillator.

This episode is an introduction (or “101”) into the sorts of things that those with an ICD should be aware of. He covers what an ICD is and why you might have one, what they do and what some of the things to be aware of.

Packed full of tips and useful information around this device that is becoming more and more common.

An episode for anyone with an ICD whether they’ve had a cardiac arrest or not.


p.s. if you have any ideas for future episodes I’d love to hear about them so please leave a comment below

2 thoughts on “5 LACA episodes for Survivors”

  1. Thanks Paul – very interesting. I wonder if you could look at something around survivors struggling to get their heads around the notion that they almost didn’t exist anymore. I appreciate it would fall under mental health but it’s quite a specific area of that broad term. Personally I began to consider the notion of there being parallel Universes where everything was normal, except I was either no longer in one or did exist in them, but with varying degrees of some form of mental and/or physical imparement. It became an unfathomable equaltion of ‘Why’ to the power of ‘How’ and coming to the conclusion of ‘What if?’!!

  2. Thank you very much for the wonderful blog with highly informative podcasts. I would appreciate it very much if there is something on the ‘survivor’s recall of pre-arrest warning signs’. If that is known, it is my assumption that we can be better prepared in tackling SCA.


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