Cardiac rehabilitation

Cardiac rehabilitation is a multifaceted intervention accessed to patients diagnosed with heart disease, which includes components on health education, cardiovascular risk reduction, physical activity and stress management. Substantiation that cardiac rehabilitation decreases mortality, morbidity, and unplanned hospital admissions in addition to improvements in quality of life and psychological well-being is increasing, and is now currently being recommended on a wide scale.

Risk Factors for developing cardiac disease include

  • Increased age
  • Male gender
  • History of vascular disease
  • Diabetes
  • High blood pressure
  • High cholesterol levels
  • Obesity
  • Smoking
  • Stress
  • Diet

List of conditions covered under cardiac rehabilitation

  • Acute coronary syndrome
  • Chronic heart failure
  • Heart transplants
  • Patients undergoing therapy for implantation of intra-cardiac defibrillator or cardiac resynchronization therapy for acute coronary syndrome and heart failure
  • Replacement of heart valve for reasons other than acute coronary syndrome and heart failure
  • Exertional angina

Core components of cardiac rehabilitation include

  1. Health behavioural change and education measures
  2. Lifestyle risk factor management
  • Physical activity and exercise
  • Diet
  • Smoking cessation
  1. Psychosocial health

$. Cardioprotective therapies

Delivery of the core components requires expertise from a range of varying professions. This includes a cardiologist, a specialist nurse, physiotherapist, dietitian, psychologist and a occupational therapist

Before any sort of program is formulated the rehabilitation team makes sure to elicit appropriate medical history

History and Symptoms

Often patients with cardiac disease present with complaints of impaired lung function, limiting their mobility and exercise ability. Depending on the particular heart condition, the patient may complain of breathing difficulty, shortness of breath, swelling, night waking, fatigue, fainting, chest pain, heart palpitations, dizziness, or pain in the legs during exercise due to circulation problems.

The team further performs the necessary physical examination and any additional tests if required. Possible tests include an electrocardiogram (EKG), cardiac imaging tests, and a stationary bike exercise test. Test to measure the cholesterol and blood sugar levels are also performed

This program is rarely associated with risks. Physical activity during the rehabilitation program can cause injuries to the muscles and bones.

Rehabilitation Management

Early rehabilitation involves walking and exercise with cardiac monitoring.  Outpatient cardiac rehabilitation consists of 3 supervised sessions per week for up to 8 weeks, requires coordinated care with the patient, cardiologist, pulmonologist, rehabilitation physician, physical therapists, occupational therapists, social workers, and a nutritionist to make certain active lifestyle changes, planning a healthy diet, and observance of medication schedules. Successful treatment reduces symptoms of heart failure, decreases the cholesterol levels, reduces stress, and consequently decreases the mortality rate due to death.