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Celebrating Breathe Easier with Pulmonary Rehabilitation Week

March 12, 2014

Morrisville – Imagine what life would be if you had difficulty breathing. Shortness of breath often limits what people with a lung disease or chronic respiratory disorder, can do. Copley Hospital’s Pulmonary Rehabilitation program is designed to help improve the quality of life for people who are living with a lung disease such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), asthma, emphysema, pulmonary hypertension, and lung volume reduction surgery before and after lung transplantation. Pulmonary Rehabilitation Week, March 9 – 15, is a week-long observation that celebrates the benefits of rehabilitation for someone who is living with a lung disease or disorder. To learn more about Copley’s Pulmonary Rehabilitation program visit www.copleyvt.org/medical-services/rehabilitation-services/pulmonary-rehabilitation/.

Copley’s eight to twelve week program is customized to the participant’s abilities and needs. “The goal of our program is to help participants reach a higher level of functioning that will allow them to perform activities without becoming short of breathe,” states therapist Betsy Harper. Copley’s Pulmonary Rehabilitation program is supervised by lead physical therapist Harper and Respiratory Therapist Steve Cothalis. The program includes the following components:

  • exercise
  • retraining of breathing techniques and strategies
  • education on how to conserve energy
  • understanding and using oxygen therapy
  • medications, including drug action, side effects, using an inhaler and self care techniques
  • symptom assessment and knowledge about when to seek medical treatment

“We carefully tailor the exercise component of the program based on the participant’s abilities and needs. Throughout the program we monitor each participant’s progress very closely,” says Harper. The first step of enrollment is an initial evaluation, including a Six Minute Walk Test and review of recent Pulmonary Function tests. This time with the participant helps Harper and Cothalis design a program that is specific to the patient.

Harper encourages anyone who is living with COPD, or with any other form of lung disease to learn more about the benefits of Copley’s Pulmonary Rehabilitation program. For more information call 888-8888 or visit Copley’s website at www.copleyvt.org/medical-services/rehabilitation-services/pulmonary-rehabilitation/.