A program for patients with chronic lung disease

Pulmonary rehabilitation

CHI Memorial is one of a few hospitals in the region that provides a pulmonary rehabilitation program. It is designed specifically for people with Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD). COPD refers to a variety of diseases that result in the difficulty of the lungs to transport needed oxygen into the blood. Examples of COPD include emphysema, asthma, chronic bronchitis and other lung impairments.

The mission of the CHI Memorial Pulmonary Rehabilitation program is to help the lung patient gain control of respiratory impairment and to achieve optimal capacity to carry out activities of daily living. The program is designed to include three areas: exercise, stress management and nutrition. A multidisciplinary approach will be used to develop an individualized program. Staff support comes from pulmonologists, pharmacists, respiratory therapists, exercise physiologists, nurses, nutritionists and chaplains as needed. They will work together to provide education and opportunities to develop new skills which may help you achieve improved physical, social and mental function.

Pulmonary rehabilitation education

The goal is to promote better lung health. The first step is education. Individual or group education sessions will be offered one to two times per week to meet the needs of the patient. These sessions will help you better understand your condition and teach you how to use skills that could enhance your quality of life.

  • anatomy and function of the lungs
  • breathing techniques
  • endurance exercises
  • strengthening exercises
  • control of shortness of breath
  • use of medications
  • relaxation
  • proper nutrition

Respiratory services for restrictive lung disease

A program similar to pulmonary rehabilitation is also available for patients who have been diagnosed with restrictive lung disease. Guidelines for referral and qualifying criteria are similar to pulmonary rehabilitation. Those who have asthma, pneumoconiosis, asbestosis, pulmonary fibrosis, interstitial lung disease, lung cancer, lung transplant or sarcoidosis may benefit from services.

Ask your doctor if either program is appropriate for you to improve your health and quality of life.