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HRMC Pulmonary Rehab helps manage COPD

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Aubrey Nuss RN, BS
Director of Cardiovascular Services

Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is the 3rd leading cause of death in the United States, behind heart disease and cancer. Currently, 16 million people are diagnosed with COPD, and many more have not been diagnosed yet. Unfortunately, COPD is a progressive disease and there is no cure. However, it can be treated! 

On November 26, 2017, CBS Sunday Morning had an episode on COPD and Pulmonary Rehab. The article explained the hardships of COPD and the life changing effects of Pulmonary Rehab.  BUT, I already knew all of these things!  How did I know?  Because we offer Pulmonary Rehab at the Heart & Vascular Center at Hutchinson Regional Medical Center, and recently received certification from AACVPR for our program.

Founded in 1985, the American Association of Cardiovascular and Pulmonary Rehabilitation (AACVPR) is a multidisciplinary organization dedicated to the mission of reducing morbidity, mortality and disability from cardiovascular and pulmonary disease through education, prevention, rehabilitation, research and disease management.  Central to the core mission is improvement in quality of life for patients and their families.

Our specialized staff of registered nurses, respiratory therapist, exercise physiologist, dieticians, occupational therapists, and pharmacists work together to improve our patient’s quality of life by evaluating their starting point and individualizing their treatment plan. We follow the best treatment guidelines proven to provide the best outcomes for patients. We slowly increase patient’s exercise tolerance and strength over the course of the program.  The other major focus of Pulmonary Rehab is education.  We cover nutrition, stress management, and disease management.  Education is given on how and when to use your medications to maximize their effectiveness.  Also our staff members will teach patients energy saving and breathing techniques so they can spend more time doing the things they want to do. 

The best thing about Pulmonary Rehab- it’s fun!  Patients love coming. Our staff care about the patient’s success, and go out of their way to ensure patients leave our program better than when they began.  Patients build friendships with the staff and other patients; they support each other, laugh with each other, and sometimes even cry with each other!  Ask your pulmonologist if Pulmonary Rehab is an option for you.  The Heart & Vascular Center would love the chance to see you get stronger and healthier.