Cardiac and Pulmonary Rehabilitation

Indiana University Health Ball Memorial Hopsital offers structured inpatient and outpatient rehabilitation programs for patients affected by heart or lung disease.

Cardiac Rehabilitation is a comprehensive inpatient and outpatient program that includes prescribed exercise, cardiac risk factor modification, education, counseling and behavioral interventions.

Our Pulmonary Rehabilitation program is individually tailored to meet patient’s needs through education, exercise and emotional support that helps stabilize their pulmonary disease such as asthma, emphysema, cystic fibrosis or chronic bronchitis.

For more information, please contact Cardiac and Pulmonary Rehabilitation at 765.747.3773.

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Cardiac Rehabilitation

Our program is designed to limit the adverse physical and mental effects of cardiac illness, reduce the risk of sudden death or relapse, control cardiac symptoms, stabilize and/or improve the patient’s condition and enhance the patient’s quality of life. The program has three phases.

Phase I

Cardiac rehabilitation begins while the patient is in the hospital recovering from a cardiac event. It is a multidisciplinary approach to the care and rehabilitation of the cardiac patient that includes exercise and education. Family members and significant others are included in all educational instruction.

Our exercise program consists of a gradual increase in walking and may progress to climbing stairs. The activity is monitored by an exercise physiologist. Exercise is monitored in the hallways and stairs of the assigned unit.

The educational program involves registered nurses, exercise physiologist, registered dietitian and registered pharmacist. Topics include heart attacks, heart surgery, heart failure, angioplasty, stents, coronary angiography, risk factor modification, emotional aspects, and activity moderation during the healing process.

A registered dietitian teaches one structured class. Topics include low cholesterol, low-fat diet, sodium restriction and weight control. Individual instructions are also given. A registered pharmacist offers instructions on medication usage and side effects of prescribed medications.

Phase II

Following discharge from the hospital, patients are referred to the first step of the outpatient cardiac rehabilitation - Phase II. Ideally, patients will begin this program as soon as appropriate after hospital discharge is advised by the physician. This phase provides ECG monitoring of individualized exercise prescriptions and educational programs to assist the patient in risk factor modifications. Classes are taught by multidisciplinary teams, including exercise physiologists, registered pharmacist, registered dietitian, stress counselor, nicotine counselor, and diabetes educator. Courses include smoking cessation, medication review, coping, depression, anatomy of the heart, diabetes, nutrition and other topics of interest to heart patients and their families.

Patients attend exercise three days per week, (Monday, Wednesday and Friday), for one hour at a scheduled time. There are education classes on Monday and Wednesday that increase the appointment to two hours.

Phase II provides monitoring and supervision of patients during the acute stages of outpatient recovery. Any change in a patient’s status will be brought to the attention of his or her physician to enhance effective medical management. During Phase II, our staff will also develop and help patients implement a safe and effective home exercise program and a recreational lifestyle. We also allow family members to join in education, exercise and CPR classes to assist in the patient’s recovery.

Phase III

Phase III begins after successful completion of Phase II or with an order from the patient’s physician. This phase is comprised of supervised exercise sessions that include blood pressure monitoring, patient instruction for obtaining his or her pulse and documentation & guidance of his or her exercise sessions.

The tailored exercise sessions may include exercise on treadmills, Air-Dyne bicycles, Stairmaster, NU-steps, elliptical trainers and rowers. Our facility is open to Phase III throughout the day to help accommodate busy schedules. Spouses or a friend are invited to participate in the exercise phase of the program.

Pulmonary Rehabilitation

If you have ever been diagnosed with a chronic lung disease, experienced shortness of breath during physical activities like walking or during periods of stress or anxiety, or if you become too tired to complete most of your daily activities, you may be a candidate for pulmonary rehabilitation.

Why Pulmonary Rehabilitation?

Over the last decade, a substantial increase in the number of patients with chronic pulmonary (lung) diseases, such as asthma, emphysema, cystic fibrosis or chronic bronchitis, has led to the development of innovative treatment methods which may improve the quality of life of individuals suffering from these debilitating diseases - programs like IU Health Ball Memorial Hospital’s Pulmonary Rehabilitation Program. Our program is individually tailored to meet the patient’s needs through education, exercise and emotional support that helps stabilize the individual's pulmonary disease.

Our goals for the program are to:

  • Improve the individual’s quality of life
  • Achieve independent function of daily living
  • Control and alleviate symptoms
  • Decrease psychological symptoms such as anxiety, panic and depression
  • Increase exercise tolerance
  • Return individuals to employment when possible
  • Reduce exacerbations, emergency department visits and hospitalizations

In short, our aim is to attempt to return the individual to the highest possible functional capacity allowed by his or her pulmonary disease.

What are the program’s components?

The Pulmonary Rehabilitation Program consists of inpatient, early outpatient and maintenance phases. The components of this comprehensive program includes initial assessments, exercise training, education and follow-up. Each educational topic will be presented by a staff member from a particular area of expertise.

Examples of educational topics include:

  • Nutrition
  • Coping with chronic illnesses
  • Dealing with stress, anxiety and panic
  • Medications/Inhalers
  • Anatomy/Physiology of respiratory system
  • Respiratory Equipment
  • Learn to prevent infections
  • Benefits of Exercise
  • Home Exercise Program
  • Harmonica Exercises

Who participates?

Program participants include adults who suffer from chronic asthma, chronic bronchitis, emphysema, pulmonary fibrosis, lung cancer that is in remission and other chronic, debilitating lung diseases. To achieve optimum results, individuals must be motivated to be active participants, both during rehabilitation sessions and with a home program.

Admission to the Pulmonary Rehabilitation Program requires a physician referral. Rehabilitation participants are encouraged to have their spouse or other family members attend the sessions also.

When and where is the program held?

The inpatient Pulmonary Rehabilitation program is initiated upon physician referral while in the hospital. Pulmonary Rehabilitation is also an outpatient program and may be initiated by a physician referral. Sessions are conducted in the Cardiopulmonary Rehabilitation Department of IU Health Ball Memorial Hospital, located on the lower level in the John W. Fisher Heart Center.

How can I continue to learn and receive support?

There are two other programs designed to complement the pulmonary rehabilitation program; the Better Breathers Support Group and the Maintenance Exercise Program.

The Better Breathers Support Group offers information and support to individuals with chronic lung disease. Active participation of family members/significant others is also strongly encouraged. The support group is a free service and organized through the Pulmonary Rehabilitation Department. The group meets on the first Wednesday of every month from April through December. For specific times and location, please call 765.747.3773.

The Maintenance Exercise Program is a long-term exercise program created to assist individuals in improving/maintaining their physical fitness and activities of daily living while participating in the pulmonary rehabilitation program. The program is staffed by the Cardiopulmonary Rehab Team and will incorporate both aerobic and muscular strength training. Each individual will receive his or her own exercise prescription with specific exercises, intensities and durations. For more information about the maintenance program, contact the Pulmonary Rehabilitation Department at 765.747.3773.