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Rehab now available to congestive heart failure patients

Whether recovering from a heart procedure or experiencing some form of heart disease, the cardiac rehabilitation program at Halifax Regional Hospital is designed to assist patients in their recovery, as well as help them develop healthier lifestyle habits.

Halifax Regional Hospital’s Cardiac Rehab program, which has been helping patients recover since 1995, is intended for individuals who have experienced angina-heart pain, heart attack, some types of heart surgery and other forms of heart disease. And beginning July 1, congestive heart failure patients also will be eligible to participate in the cardiac rehab program through Medicare.

 “We are excited to add this option into our cardiac rehab program,” said Nurse Manager Nicole Pruitt, RN, MSN, who oversees both cardiopulmonary rehabilitation and the intensive care unit. “In providing this opportunity, we have the potential to double the number of patients we are able to serve. We have an ever-present goal of improving quality of life, so these are more patients whose lives can be changed for the better.”

Like other cardiac patients, patients with congestive heart failure will be referred to the program by their doctor. Once referred, the patient will be contacted by the staff for an initial assessment to determine eligibility. 

Patients participating in the program will have a one-hour time slot, two or three times per week, where they will participate in a personalized, doctor-directed exercise plan.  A registered nurse closely supervises patients during their exercise. Personalized goals are set for patient progress, and educational information is readily available.

 “Cardiac rehab is designed to limit the physiological and psychological effects of cardiac illness,” Pruitt said. “With the help of trained professionals, patients discover ways to reduce their risk for cardiovascular disease and heart attack and learn how to control cardiac symptoms.”

The cardiac rehabilitation program at Halifax Regional Hospital is national certified by the American Association of Cardiovascular and Pulmonary Rehabilitation (AACVPR). At Halifax Regional Hospital, the pulmonary rehabilitation program is offered in conjunction with cardiac rehabilitation, as cardiopulmonary rehabilitation services. 

The cardiopulmonary rehabilitation staff consists of nurses and respiratory therapists who have been trained in advanced cardiac life support as well as cardiac and pulmonary rehab. 

The program is supervised by medical directors who are board certified in cardiology and pulmonology. 

For further information on the addition of congestive heart failure patients to the cardiac rehab program or about Halifax Regional Hospital Cardiopulmonary Rehabilitation Services, call 434-517-3846 or visit website at www.hrhs.org.