March 12, 2010
AUGUSTA -- We're going inside University Hospital's Heart and Vascular Institute to look at how patients recover from a cardiovascular event.
In this Smart Heart report, we looking at the three phases of rehab at the Heart and Vascular Institute.
The first phase starts the minute you're diagnosed. Nurses and dietitians meet with patients and their families to look at lifestyle changes they'll need to make.
The next phase involves exercise on a treadmill, stationary bicycle and other equipment. This phase takes place over 12 weeks.
After those 12 weeks, patients graduate to phase 3. In this phase, they continue to exercise at University Hospital. They can do so at the Heart and Vascular Institute or at University's Wellness and Fitness Center.
Doctor Janet Utz says "Cardiovascular rehab is incredibly important. In fact, recent studies have shown that a patient that completes the full 36 weeks is about 50% less likely to die than a patient who hasn't completed it and about 30% less likely to have a heart attack."
The author of one of those studies says the use of cardiac rehab is very low. Researchers found less than 20% of eligible patients actually take part.
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