St. Mary's Medical Center | Huntington, WV | (304) 526-1234

Pulmonary Rehabilitation

St. Mary’s Pulmonary Rehabilitation is a national leader in helping patients with COPD. The program is among a select few in the country to receive disease-specific certification from the Joint Commission for excellence in patient treatment and care.

What is COPD?

COPD stands for chronic obstructed pulmonary disease. This is a lung condition that causes symptoms such as coughing and shortness of breath during daily activities. The primary cause of COPD is cigarette smoking although it can be caused by other environmental irritants.

The benefits of pulmonary rehabilitation can be seen by anyone who has been diagnosed with a lung disease or condition that is limiting his or her ability to perform daily activities such as walking, bathing, eating and doing household chores.

Reported outcomes of pulmonary rehabilitation include:

  • Improved quality of life
  • Reduced hospitalizations
  • Reduced respiratory symptoms
  • Improved ability to perform daily activities of living
  • Increased exercise tolerance and performance
  • Increased knowledge of pulmonary disease

The outpatient pulmonary rehabilitation program works to:

  • Improve exercise tolerance/endurance
  • Re-train breathing techniques
  • Instruct on airway clearance techniques
  • Instruct on proper use of medications
  • Increase knowledge of pulmonary disease and management
  • Nutritional assessment/counseling
  • Increase overall quality of life
  • Develop psychosocial support
  • Offer support group

The inpatient pulmonary rehabilitation program is the only one of its type in the area performed at the patient’s bedside. It works to:

  • Provide bedside education on pulmonary disease
  • Provide bedside education on pulmonary medications, correct use of inhalers and cleaning of home equipment
  • Ambulate patient
  • Decrease length of hospital stay
  • Decrease re-admission rates for patients with COPD
  • Offer smoking cessation counseling

Other services:

Better Breathers Club

The Better Breathers Club is a support group for people with COPD or other chronic lung diseases and their loved ones. The meetings are free and open to the public. The meetings are scheduled every second Tuesday of the month from 4:30-5:30p in the St. Mary’s Pulmonary Rehabilitation Department. The participants will learn how to manage their lung condition, take part in discussions and practice new skills. Topics include:

  • How your lungs work
  • Understanding chronic lung disease
  • Talking to your healthcare provider
  • Tracking symptoms
  • Understanding medications and treatment
  • Emotional and social well-being

Smoking Cessation

St. Mary’s Pulmonary Rehabilitation offers Freedom From Smoking classes through the American Lung Association. Classes meet once a week on Thursdays for 7 weeks 1:30-2:30p in the St. Mary’s Pulmonary Rehabilitation Department. This program takes a positive approach to quitting smoking focusing behavior changes and overall benefits to health.

Alpha-1 Antitrypsin Deficiency Testing

Alpha-1 Antitrypsin deficiency (AATD) is low levels of alpha-1 antitrypsin (AAT), a naturally occurring protein that helps protect the lung tissue. Patients who are deficient will show signs and symptoms of COPD. This is a genetic disorder and those tested early can make lifestyle changes to prevent the progression of lung disease.

St. Mary’s Pulmonary Rehabilitation Department provides education and free testing for alpha-1 deficiency. Testing consists of a simple finger stick. Test results are available approximately within two weeks and the patient will be contacted. To schedule a test, call (304) 399-7402 or (800) 9ST-MARY, ext. 7402.

For more information about St. Mary’s Pulmonary Rehabilitation, call (304) 399-7402 or (800) 9ST-MARY, ext. 7402.