Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) can affect anyone, but smokers are particularly at risk. COPD includes emphysema, asthma, and bronchitis. SACMC's Pulmonary Rehabilitation Center provides pulmonary rehabilitation services for patients with COPD.
Pulmonary rehab encourages patients to enjoy the maximum level of independence and freedom. The program enlists the services of registered nurses, respiratory therapists,and a physician board certified in internal medicine with specialized training in pulmonary diseases.
The program consists of two parts:
The first part is an eight-week, medically directed initial program ordered by the patient's physician. A respiratory therapist performs an initial extensive evaluation with a six-minute walking exercise, then a treatment plan is developed using the information obtained.
Patients meet for treatment, counseling and support three times a week. Sessions include exercise and presentation of information about\ medications, the pulmonary system, and the disease process of COPD. As with any chronic illness, depression, stress, and fear can be a factor for both the patient and family; these issues are dealt with in a caring manner. Guest speakers discuss various topics related to COPD.
The second part is the maintenance phase. Patients must complete the initial phase to participate in the maintenance program. In the maintenance phase, patients keep up the exercises learned in the first phase and participate in other activities to help them continue their journey to better living.