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Pulmonary rehabilitation is a program that teaches a person to live and breathe better with chronic lung disease. Pictured is pulmonary rehabilitation patient Zippy Zimmerman of Postville with Amy Rolfs, RN, during a pulmonary rehabilitation session at Veterans Memorial Hospital.

Pulmonary Rehab helps for Better Function Day to Day

Pulmonary rehabilitation is a program offered at Veterans Memorial Hospital that teaches a person to live and breathe better with chronic lung disease.  Conditions such as emphysema, chronic bronchitis, asthma, restrictive lung disease and cystic fibrosis can make doing every day activities difficult due to shortness of breath and low activity tolerance. Participation in a pulmonary rehab program can help increase strength, manage shortness of breath, decrease anxiety and depression and implement a consistent at-home exercise program.

Pulmonary Rehabilitation consists of closely supervised exercise sessions staffed by Amy Rolfs, RN, and Diann Weymiller, RN. During these sessions heart rate, blood pressure, oxygen level, shortness of breath and exercise tolerance are monitored and assessed. Sessions also include education about breathing techniques, energy conservation, medications, oxygen use and self evaluation to help increase a person’s activity tolerance.  The pulmonary rehab staff also provide other information that help set goals and create a plan for managing  chronic lung disease and improving quality of life.

Zippy Zimmerman of Postville is utilizing the Pulmonary Rehab program at Veterans Memorial Hospital for the second time.  “The first time I completed the program, I had very good results and got my strength and stamina back which was very good for me,” explains Zippy.  “This time I have more work to do, but I have come a long ways and am getting better.  The program is such great help.”

For more information in understanding and managing pulmonary function and improving health, please call the Rehabilitation Department at Veterans Memorial Hospital at 568-3411.