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Program helps pulmonary and cardiac patients improve their lifestyle

Published: Mar. 23, 2021 at 5:18 PM EDT
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PRESQUE ISLE, Maine (WAGM) -

A program offered by Northern Light A.R. Gould Hospital is helping some patients build their strength and endurance. Kathy McCarty has more in this week’s Medical Monday.

Patients with pulmonary or cardiac issues are learning to lead a healthier lifestyle, thanks to a program offered at A.R. Gould Hospital, says Registered Nurse Stewart White.

“The program is based on patients who have either had COPD or other pulmonary issues, for the pulmonary rehab side. For the cardiac side, it’s patients who might have had a heart attack; gone down and had angioplasty, which is basically the ballooning of the vessels of the heart; or have stents put in to take care of the blockages. Or they could have anything from a valve replaced, to have an open-heart surgery and have a bypass operation. So we’re there to help build them back up,” says Stewart White, Lead RN for Cardiac and Pulmonary Rehab with Northern Light A.R. Gould Hospital.

The program, once closed due to the lack of space to social distance, has since reopened as of March 1st. White says procedures often come with medication changes.

“We monitor those on a regular basis. Every time you come in, you have a minimum of two blood pressures taken, if not four or five, depending what process you are during the program. So if your blood pressure’s running high, we kick a note off to your primary care doctor to make them aware of it so they can adjust accordingly,” says White.

Treatment includes individualized exercise programs.

“We do a six-minute walk test when you first start. That gives us an idea of what level of fitness you’re at at that time, and then we adjust the exercise program accordingly,” says White.

White says it’s a family-like atmosphere, that’s light but informative. Patients are also taught skills to address stress and learn proper eating habits. For more information, contact your health care provider. Kathy McCarty, NewsSource 8

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