Pulmonary Rehabilitation Program

The Pulmonary Rehabilitation Program at Northwest Hospital is a monitored, six-week exercise training and educational program for patients suffering from a variety of lung diseases, including chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), asthma, chronic bronchitis, pulmonary thrombosis, and interstitial lung disease and lung transplants. The program helps to control and relieve symptoms as well as optimizes lung capacity and increases the range of daily activities for patients with chronic lung diseases. The pulmonary rehabilitation program team of cardiopulmonary professionals works directly with the patient to improve cardiopulmonary fitness, promote psychological well being and develop healthy lifestyles.

Exercise Program

Patients undergo extensive diagnostic testing to identify any potential for activity. A personal exercise therapy plan is then developed consisting of three one-hour exercise sessions each week for six weeks, with a focus on aerobic training to increase the strength of the body’s large muscle groups and increase stamina. The stationary bicycle, treadmill, and walking and rowing machines are included in the program and participants wear cardiac and respiratory monitors during the program. Each patient takes a six-minute walk before the program to assess how far he or she can walk, which is repeated following the program to document progress. Small classes promote camaraderie among patients, who often develop lasting friendships. Following the initial sessions, cardiac-monitored telemetry is available for patient-initiated exercise programs.

Education Program

Along with exercise, patients learn to deal effectively with their diseases through weekly education sessions. Nutrition, stress reduction, relaxation measures, self-care tips and personal energy-saving techniques are discussed. Family members are encouraged to participate to offer emotional support and learn how the disease affects their loved one. Self-help classes, conducted by patients, are also offered.

For More Information

Participants must be referred by a personal physician and must take a pre-admission cardiopulmonary stress test before beginning the program. At the program’s end, a repeat stress test measures each patient’s progress. To learn more about Northwest Hospital’s Pulmonary Rehabilitation Program, call 410-521-2200, ext. 7350.