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Cardiopulmonary rehabilitation

Secondary prevention to maintain and improve your health

If you are a cardiac or pulmonary patient, Regions Hospital Cardiopulmonary Rehabilitation is an important part of your care. You’ll receive education and exercise to maintain and possibly even improve your health.

Services provided

Cardiopulmonary Rehabilitation is two separate services: pulmonary rehabilitation (for people with chronic breathing problems) and cardiac rehabilitation (for people who have had a heart attack, heart surgery or certain heart procedures).

There are two phases of cardiac rehabilitation available. Phase I is for hospitalized patients (inpatients) following a cardiac event. Phase II is for outpatients. (Currently, pulmonary rehabilitation is offered only as an outpatient service.) These programs give you individual assessments and evaluations.

Phase 1: inpatient cardiac rehabilitation

If you’ve had a heart attack, heart surgery or a cardiac-related diagnosis, your doctor may recommend this service while you are in the hospital. You’ll exercise, according to your ability, twice a day until you are ready to leave the hospital. Before you are discharged, you’ll receive a personal home exercise program. You and your family will have a chance to go over it and make sure you understand everything.

Program Goals

  • Establish safe transfer techniques
  • Reinforce confidence in mobility
  • Instruction on limitations at home
  • Increase ambulatory ability
  • Monitor vital signs with aerobic exercise
  • Review signs and symptoms of heart disease
  • Reinforce when to call physician vs. emergency assistance
  • Reinforce nursing instruction of the nitroglycerin protocol, if indicated
  • Review risk factors for heart disease
  • Provide home exercise program
  • Assist with discharge planning

Exercise Supervision

When you exercise in the hospital, you’ll be supervised by a registered nurse, exercise physiologist or occupational therapist. You’ll be walking and exercising in your room, in the hallways or using exercise equipment in a clinic.

Location & hours

  • Regions Hospital
  • Inpatient Cardiac Rehabilitation Office: 6th floor, room C6205
  • Hours: Monday to Friday: 7 a.m. until 5 p.m.; Saturday and Sunday: 7:30 a.m. until 4 p.m.
  • Phone: 651-254-9243

Outpatient Cardiac Rehabilitation

Once you leave the hospital, you may be referred to Regions Hospital Cardiopulmonary Rehabilitation or a program in your community. If you have questions about insurance coverage for these programs, you should contact your insurance company.

General description

You’ll be referred to this service if your doctors feel you need to be watched for safety reasons when you exercise. Your referral may come from a cardiologist, a primary care physician or another specialty physician (referrals that are placed by a nurse practitioner or physician assistant need to have a medical doctor co-signature).

A typical session

During a typical session, you’ll be placed on telemetry (a heart rhythm monitoring device) and your blood pressure will be measured before, during and after exercise. (If you have diabetes, blood sugars are also measured before and after exercise.) If you have any difficulties during exercise, your primary physician and/or cardiologists will be notified. Your physicians will also be able to track your progress by looking at your patient records on a secure web site.

Program goals

  • Promote healthy lifestyle changes
  • Increase understanding of heart disease
  • Provide education on cardiac risk factors
  • Increase exercise capacity
  • Promote exercise independence
  • Provide heart healthy nutritional information
  • Encourage smoking cessation, if indicated
  • Provide encouragement and support

Common phase II diagnoses

To make sure you have coverage for Phase II Cardiac Rehabilitation, contact your insurance company. Common diagnoses for cardiac rehabilitation are:

  • Stable angina
  • Coronary artery disease
  • Coronary artery bypass surgery
  • Angioplasty (with or without stent)
  • Myocardial infarction
  • Cardiac transplant
  • Cardiac valve repair/replacement
  • Cardiac arrest
  • Heart failure

Patient education

Your orientation appointment includes a thorough evaluation and personal treatment plan made by a registered nurse or an exercise physiologist. Sixteen different education classes are offered:

  • Diabetes and heart disease
  • Heart failure
  • Nutrition: fats and oils, DASH diet, MyPyramid, eating out, nutrition resources, healthy recipe samples, cholesterol labs, sterols and stannols
  • Blood Pressure
  • Exercise and Equipment
  • Stress Management
  • Relaxation Techniques
  • Living Well With Heart Disease (psychosocial issues)
  • Cardiac Medications 1 and 2
  • Lifelines of the Heart: the coronary arteries
  • The Life Pump (anatomy/physiology of the heart)

Nutrition consultation

You’ll receive an individual nutrition consultation and follow-up with a registered dietitian. Before you meet with the dietitian, you’ll be asked to complete a three-day food diary. This will help the dietitian recommend any medical nutrition therapy or diet changes that may help you. Family members and friends are welcome to come with you. Our registered dietitians are also certified diabetes educators.

Exercise supervision

Your exercise will be supervised by a registered nurse, exercise physiologist, respiratory therapist or occupational therapist. Your exercise program is designed just for you so you can go at your own pace.

Exercise & education schedule

Cardiac rehabilitation classes last 90 minutes and consist of one hour of exercise (including 30 minutes of aerobic exercise) and a half-hour education class.

Exercise classes are available two times per week on Tuesday and Thursday, or three times per week on Monday, Wednesday and Friday. Education classes are available before or after all exercise classes on Monday through Thursday.

Equipment available

You’ll have access to this equipment:

  • Treadmills
  • Exercise bikes
  • Recumbent steppers (NuStep)
  • Elliptical machines
  • Arm ergometer
  • Free weights

Location & hours

  • Regions Hospital
  • Outpatient Cardiopulmonary Rehab Clinic
  • 2575 University Avenue West, Suite 140, St. Paul, MN 55114
  • Hours: Monday, Wednesday and Friday 7:30 a.m. - 4 p.m.; Tuesday and Thursday 9 a.m. - 5:30 p.m.
  • For class times and additional information, please call 651-254-9999
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