Pulmonary rehab program begins at medical center

Pulmonary rehab program begins at medical center The first pulmonary rehabilitation class of Sioux Valley Vermillion Medical Center including Peggy Elkins of Elk Point and Zelda Luft of Vermillion graduated on Nov. 16.

The pulmonary rehab program is for people affected with Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) which includes emphysema, chronic bronchitis, and asthma. COPD causes increased shortness of breath, making it difficult to exercise or perform daily activities such as showering, cooking, walking, or stair climbing.

"I was giving in to COPD and it eventually would have make me a prisoner in my home," said Elkins. The program involves education, exercise, and support.

" I am grateful for the knowledge about COPD. I had no idea what was happening to me," Elkins said. "Starting exercise was difficult, but so rewarding � I feel so much better."

"Learning proper breathing techniques is very helpful in controlling the shortness of breath. It will also help to improve oxygen levels," said Lori Salonen, director of respiratory care and pulmonary rehabilitation coordinator at Sioux Valley Vermillion.

"By learning better ways to breathe, I was able to come off my oxygen during the day. I only wear it while I sleep at night now," said Luft.

Goals of the pulmonary rehabilitation include improved quality of life, reduced shortness of breath, increased knowledge about respiratory disease and its management, enhanced ability to perform daily activities and reduced hospitalizations.

For more information about the program or to find out if you are a candidate, contact Salonen at 638-8265 or toll-free at (866) 624-2611, ext. 265.

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