Cardiopulmonary Rehabilitation Program :: Nationwide Children's Hospital

Cardiopulmonary Rehabilitation

What is Cardiopulmonary Rehabilitation?

It is a medically supervised, individually tailored program consisting of exercise and education to help patients feel better, increase endurance and improve their overall quality of life. It consists of a multidisciplinary healthcare team that helps treat patients with cardiac and/or pulmonary impairment that has limited their physical condition and ability to function well in their life. You may hear it called either “cardiac rehab” or “pulmonary rehab” or even just “rehab”. The programs are very similar, have many of the same components, and are both housed within the Cardiopulmonary Rehabilitation Program.

Who can benefit from Cardiopulmonary Rehabilitation?

Individuals of all ages diagnosed with heart, lung or heart/lung impairment. It includes, but is not limited to, patients with congenital heart defects, transplants, heart surgeries, cystic fibrosis, asthma, obesity, severe scoliosis, interstitial lung disease, sickle cell disease, neuromuscular disease and others.

What will I be doing in the program?

Cardiopulmonary Rehabilitation Patient and StaffIn this program you will be doing various types of exercise activity as well as receiving education about healthy lifestyles. We have various types of specialty staff to meet your needs, and you may see some or all of them while you are in the program. You will be working one-on-one much of the time with an exercise physiologist or a physical therapist, while performing various types of aerobic, strength and flexibility exercises. You will also be receiving education from dieticians, psychologists, and respiratory therapists. On occasion, you will receive a relaxing massage to help you with pain, muscle soreness or tissue oxygenation. You may also consult with a recreational therapist to assist you in finding activities you enjoy and helping you incorporate physical activity into your daily routine.

How long does the program last?

You will be asked to attend 2-3 days per week for a 6-8 week time period. Each session is approximately 1.5-2 hours long. After 6-8 weeks, you will be re-assessed to see if further rehabilitation is necessary or a prescribed home exercise program is right for you. Our goal is to help keep you on track and incorporate daily exercise into your routine for years to come.

What are the benefits of Cardiopulmonary Rehabilitation?

Some of the benefits of the program are to help decrease symptoms of shortness of breath, chest pain and fatigue as well as decrease emotional stress, depression and anxiety. Our program is designed to help you become more fit and able to participate in physical activities that you may not have been able to previously. Exercise tones your muscles and improves your energy level and spirits. It helps your body to get stronger and work better. Exercise can also get you back to work, school and other activities faster.

Where is the program held?

This program is held in the tower building at Nationwide Children's Hospital main campus.

Is Cardiopulmonary Rehabilitation safe for me?

Photo of a patient during a cardiac rehabilitation session

Cardiac and pulmonary rehab are safe. Studies show that serious health problems caused by rehabilitation exercise are rare. The team you will be working with are trained to handle emergencies. In order to assure you are responding appropriately, you may be hooked up to an EKG monitor and/or an oxygen saturation monitor while you exercise. We may also monitor your blood pressure, weight, level of exertion, shortness of breath and blood sugars if necessary.
 
Our pulmonary rehabilitation program met national gold standards and was certified by the American Association of Cardiovascular and Pulmonary Rehabilitation in 2009.

Patient Testaments

“I learned that I can push my body physically and it can feel good!” - Pulmonary Rehabilitation participant
 
“This program has shown me the right way to exercise. I now exercise 3 times a week. I’ve become stronger and less stressed. The program helped with my recovery and strengthened me physically and emotionally.” - Cardiac Rehabilitation participant
 
“I’m feeling stronger and more motivated to stay healthy through exercise, diet and social life—some things I’ve never thought of before." - Pulmonary Rehabilitation participant
 
“The program has shown me the proof that regular exercise is essential in maintaining healthy lungs. I will continue using all I have learned after leaving the program in hopes for a healthier life.” - Pulmonary Rehabilitation participant

For more information, call the Cardiopulmonary Rehabilitation Program Coordinators at (614) 722-4975.

Cardiopulmonary Rehabilitation Contact Information

Nationwide Children's Hospital
700 Children's Drive Columbus, Ohio 43205 614.722.2000