Adirondack Health provides Phase II Cardiac Rehabilitation
Nurse Practitioner Marijke Ormel monitors the vital signs of a patient participating in the Phase II Cardiac Rehab Program offered by Adirondack Health.
Program helps cardiac patients stay on the path to recovery
SARANAC LAKE – For cardiac patients, recovery continues after they leave the hospital. Adirondack Health now offers Phase II Cardiac Rehabilitation, helping patients make the lifestyle changes needed and providing the tools necessary to lead a healthy life.
“Cardiac rehabilitation is a crucial component of the treatment plan for many patients with cardiovascular disease,” said Board Certified Cardiologist Dr. Anthony Tramontano. “Exercise, as we know, has many health benefits, and particularly for people who are recovering, that’s even more true. Cardiac Rehabilitation has been shown to decrease re-hospitalization, improve functional capacity, lessen symptoms, and help patients get back to activities of daily living after a major cardiac event.”
Phase II Cardiac Rehabilitation (Phase II CR) is an optional program for patients who have suffered from a wide variety of cardiac events, including heart attacks, bypass surgery, valve replacement, stent insertion and other non-surgical heart conditions.
The goals of a Phase II program include:
- Offering cardiac patients a safe, monitored environment for exercise. Monitoring consists of measuring the patient's blood pressure, heart rate, electrical heart activity, heart and lung sounds.
- Increasing cardiac patients’ exercise capacity. This is one of the main goals of Phase II CR and is accomplished gradually over time.
- Teaching patients to monitor themselves while exercising. This includes self-monitoring of heart rate, exertion and respiratory comfort to prepare patients for sustained or life-long exercise participation.
- Relieving fear and anxiety. Patients are reassured that the lifestyle changes they are making will help maintain a high quality of life.
- Educating patients. Educational topics include stress management, dietary modifications to lower fat intake, smoking cessation, heart anatomy, sexual activity and cardiac medications.
Rehabilitation exercise consists largely of cardiovascular endurance. Patients may use a treadmill, bike or upper body ergometer to increase heart rate. The program also works on building patient strength.
“You’re going to feel better, you’re going to heal faster, and we’re going to be able to help you in the future,” said Dr. Tramontano.
According to Rick Preston, Director of Rehabilitation and Sports Medicine for Adirondack Health, it is important for cardiac patients to participate in a monitored rehabilitation program so silent incidences can be detected. A silent incident is an abnormal rhythm where the heart muscles are experiencing damage, but the person doesn’t show symptoms.
Preston said the program generally lasts twelve weeks and “allows for progression back into function.” Vital signs are recorded at the start of the program to establish a baseline for heart rate and response to exercise. Patients are monitored at regular intervals throughout the program and are tested again at the end of the program to measure improvement.
“You hope to see this improvement, a slope upwards, which generally will indicate that their disease risk has been reduced,” said Preston.
Phase II CR is open to anyone who has experienced a cardiac event and most insurances are accepted. To learn more, or to enroll in the program, contact Rebecca Wolford, Cardiac Rehabilitation Coordinator, at (518) 897-2483.
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