700 Children's® – A Blog by Pediatric Experts

Best Kept Secrets: Why Cardiopulmonary Rehab Might be What Your Child Needs

Jun 28, 2019
Father with child on his back.

When we hear the words “cardiopulmonary rehabilitation,” most of us think that this type of program is only for patients who have undergone a serious hospitalization, like for heart surgery. But the truth is that this form of rehab can provide benefits for individuals of all ages who are experiencing a decline in their physical endurance or having difficulty with normal daily activities. 

Patients who benefit from cardiopulmonary rehabilitation (cardiopulmonary rehab) include those who have been diagnosed with:

Cardiopulmonary rehab is also beneficial for patients recovering from heart and lung surgery, including transplantation.

The benefits may include:

  • Increased energy and strength
  • Reduced emotional stress, anxiety and depression
  • Improved muscle tone, flexibility and range of motion
  • Reduced symptoms including shortness of breath, fatigue and chest pain

When you think about all the different kinds of patients who can benefit from cardiopulmonary rehab and the potential benefits, it’s easy to see why this kind of rehab program requires a multidisciplinary team. For example, a team may include:

Of course, not every patient who participates in a cardiopulmonary rehab program will need to see all of the members of the team. Each patient comes to the program with their own goals and challenges so their care plan will be tailored to fit their individual needs. Usually patients attend sessions two or three days a week for about six to eight weeks, but this can vary depending on the patient’s goals and needs.

And cardiopulmonary rehab doesn’t end when the patient finishes their tailored program at an outpatient setting. Throughout the program, patients receive education to help them build knowledge and skills so they will continue to reap the benefits of rehab. Patients receive a prescribed home exercise program and the information they need to make continued healthy lifestyle choices and find supportive community resources.

The bottom line is that cardiopulmonary rehabilitation helps patients of all ages with a variety of diagnoses who are having difficulty with physical endurance and performing daily activities. The program helps them feel better and have improved quality of life.

If you would like to know more about the Cardiopulmonary Program at Nationwide Children's Hospital, click here.

Featured Expert

Amy Randall-McSorley
Amy Randall-McSorley, MMC, EdD Candidate
Marketing and Public Relations

Amy Randall-McSorley is a Marketing Senior Specialist, Physician Referral, at Nationwide Children’s Hospital. As a freelance writer, one of her assignments since 2010 has been the weekly commuter column for the Circleville Herald. She has also written for other publications, authored three published books, and teaches writing workshops.

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700 Children’s® features the most current pediatric health care information and research from our pediatric experts – physicians and specialists who have seen it all. Many of them are parents and bring a special understanding to what our patients and families experience. If you have a child – or care for a child – 700 Children’s was created especially for you.