John DeFeo, Senior Exercise Specialist

Following a cardiac issue such as a heart attack, angioplasty or heart surgery, it’s common for cardiac patients to face a set of challenges – from fatigue to loss of mobility and more. Cardiac rehab is a critical next step in helping individuals get back on the road to recovery.

 

Bacharach’s highly acclaimed Phase II Cardiac Rehabilitation service is prescribed for those recovering from a cardiac issue upon release from the hospital. The program is designed to strengthen the heart, lungs and overall condition, helping patients resume normal activities.

 

The supervised outpatient program of monitored exercise therapy consists of three hours of therapy per week for 12 weeks. The therapy utilizes treadmills, bicycles, rowing, arm ergometers, stair machines and weights while the patient’s vital signs and symptoms are being monitored. Throughout the program, a therapist provides extensive education on risk factors, behavior and nutrition and tracks overall progress.
 

Expert Cardiac Care

 

John DeFeo, Senior Exercise Specialist, who has been working in cardiopulmonary rehabilitation for nearly 20 years, sees the benefits of cardiac rehab firsthand.

 

 

Caitlyn Csaszar, Exercise Specialist and John DeFeo

 

“The benefits of cardiac rehab are impressive. Research indicates a 47 percent lower risk of death for patients who complete a 12-week therapy session following hospitalization over a 5-year follow up period, compared to those who only attended one session. It’s startling that in the U.S., only 20 to 30 percent of patients are referred to cardiac rehab.”

 

Be Your Own Advocate

 

John adds that cardiac rehab is driven by community awareness and if a doctor doesn’t prescribe it, the patient must demand it. “They have the right to advocate for themselves,” says John.

 

At Bacharach, treatment is based on a physical and mental evaluation and recommendations from a physician. From there, the exercise specialist determines a patient’s work level and other factors they should be monitoring closely, like blood pressure, glucose levels and heart rate.

 

“Typically, we start with cardio cross-training, then mid-way through the program, we’ll introduce weight training. Throughout the entire process, we talk about medication, diet, stress management and even smoking cessation if needed,” says John.

 

Bacharach’s program isn’t just all work and no play.

 

“We try to foster a nice relationship with our patients,” says John, “and make treatment as fun as possible and to keep things light.”

 

The goal of Bacharach’s program is for patients to be headed in the right direction after
12 weeks.

 

“We know your medicine, your attitude and your progress. If the patient isn’t moving in the right direction, we contact the cardiologist and adjust the treatment program as needed,” says John.

 

To learn more about Bacharach’s Ruth Newman Shapiro Cardiac Rehab Center call 609-748-2091.

 


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