Sunday, May 07, 2006

Cardiac Rehab

Cardiac Rehab is a treatment program for patients diagnosed with
heart disease to recover faster and return to their normal pace
of life. It teaches the patient how to live with heart disease,
and how to bring about a change in lifestyle and follow the
right path to a healthy and strong heart.

Cardiovascular diseases cause 50 % of deaths in the U.S.A.
Coronary Heart disease affects 13.5 million Americans. Genetic
disposition, sedentary lifestyle, misguided eating habits and
lack of exercise are the root causes of this problem. Cardiac
Rehab tries not only medical treatment but also a complete
overhauling of lifestyle to fight heart disease.

The Cardiac Rehab program aims at improving each patient's
health and long-term prognosis. It may be initiated after a
coronary event (heart attack, hospitalization, heart failure) or
a heart procedure (angioplasty, stent, surgery). A team of
doctors, nurses, counselors and therapists design a suitable
Cardiac Rehab program for each patient after detailed testing
and examination.

There are usually three to four phases in a Cardiac Rehab
program. Phase one begins when the patient is first hospitalized
recovering from a heart condition or surgery. It is initiated in
the hospital and may continue throughout the stay. Its goal is
to deter the negative effects of bed rest, and bring about
lifestyle changes that will minimize the chancres of a relapse
in the heart condition. For example, at first you have to learn
how to take care of yourself (grooming, bath etc), then find out
how much exercise you can handle and start a weight training
program.

Phase two is a major outpatient program started soon after
discharge from the hospital. It lasts typically for 36 visits to
the hospital or Rehab center. To start the exercise regimen, the
patient must undergo a level treadmill test, so an exercise
regimen will be tailored according to his need and condition.
The entire program consists of starting on a strict exercise
program and participation in group discussions, as well as
individual counseling. Phase 2 Cardiac Rehab is reimbursed
through Medicare and most other insurance agencies.

The program involves close monitoring of the patient's initial
exercise regimen, directing his return to work and leisure
activities, developing a safe home exercise program, and
providing counseling to treat any depression or to ease the
change to a new lifestyle. Throughout Phase 2, the patient's
heart condition is monitored through Electro Cardiogram tests
(ECG) on a weekly basis. High-risk patients are watched even
more closely.

On completion of Phase two of the Rehab, the patient and
referring doctor receive a report card, showing a comparison of
several parameters tested during those 36 visits to the Rehab
center. This includes body weight, blood pressure, heart rate,
exercise capacity, and cholesterol level, and enables the
physician to judge the results of phase 2 and the current health
status of the patient.

Phase 3 is a maintenance program. It is started after judging
phase two. Phase 2 patients may be referred to Phase 3 for
continued supervision. Enrollment in phase 3 may not require a
physician's referral.

Research has proved that Cardiac Rehab has resulted in the
following benefits--

reduced risk of heart attack, decreased severity of angina,
reduced need for hospitalization, decreased blood pressure, the
ability to exercise longer, a lower cholesterol triglyceride
level and decreased depression and anxiety.

The goal of Rehab is to return a patient of heart disease to a
normal and healthy lifestyle, sticking to lifestyle changes like
quitting smoking and alcohol and following strict exercise
regimes. This will ultimately determine the success of the Rehab
program.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Jason Gluckman provides detailed
information on rehab, alcohol rehab, cardiac rehab, drug rehab
and more. He is affliated with Alcohol
Rehabilitation Centers
.

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