Cardiac Rehab Program at Texas Health Dallas Recognized|
DALLAS — It’s not as dramatic as open-heart surgery or as high-tech as minimally-invasive treatments to open blockages in cardiac arteries. But the work being done by nurses, nutritionists and rehabilitation specialists at the Finley Ewing Cardiovascular & Fitness Center at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Dallas is nonetheless important.
“More and more research has shown that cardiac rehabilitation plays a key role in a patient’s quality and quantity of life,” said Deanna Xeros, director of the center. “Whether someone has undergone a major surgical procedure or they’re stable and being treated medically, our program can be a part of getting back to an active, healthy lifestyle.”
The work of her team and the array of services they provided have earned the Cardiac Rehab program at Texas Health Dallas a three-year reaccreditation from the American Association of Cardiovascular & Pulmonary Rehab.
“With an array of specialized programs — from exercise classes, to support groups, to nutrition courses to lifestyle counseling — we offer a robust program to get patients back to health,” said Sheryl W. Brown, PT, MSPT, manager of rehabilitation services at Texas Health Dallas.
Most patients are enrolled in the program at least six weeks, with exercise and patient-education classes three times a week. All patients are on monitors (called telemetry) as they exercise to ensure safety and gauge their progress. The program includes a comprehensive dietary consult, nurse assessment, pre- and post-workout walking tests, support groups and constant monitoring of blood pressure, heart rate and glucose levels.
The Texas Health Dallas program includes cardiac rehab nurses, exercise physiologists, fitness specialists and a therapy manager.
“We’re proud to receive such an important accreditation, because it takes a lot of work and dedication from our entire team to be recognized like this,” Brown said. “We’re mostly proud for our patients. It lets us know we’re providing the kind of care and the kind of program that will help them in the long run.”
A study recently published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology showed cardiac rehabilitation increases survival in a wide range of patients with heart disease. The findings demonstrated that cardiac rehabilitation participation after a cardiac event was associated with a 21 percent to 34 percent increase in five-year survival rates, similar to that found with the use of other preventive therapies including cholesterol-lowering medications and beta blockers.
The most recent research, published in December 2009 in Circulation, tracked more than 30,000 Medicare patients over age 65 for four years. After taking into account age and other differences, researchers found that those who completed a cardiac rehab program had their chances of a subsequent heart attack reduced by 31 percent.
“The goal is to reduce complications and increase the quality of life of our cardiac patients through education, prevention and rehabilitation,” Xeros said. “I’m proud of our team because I know that we’re helping accomplish those goals everyday.”
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