Wednesday, 25 August 2010

Cardiac rehab - giving heart patients their lives back

So, thanks to NICE publishing an updated guide on the management of chronic heart failure, we now know even more about the benefits of cardiac rehabilitation.

But so what? Why is cardiac rehabilitation so important to the thousands of heart patients out there?

Well the simple answer is it saves lives.

At the moment only 38 per cent of heart patients enjoy the benefits of cardiac rehabilitation - that figure should, and could, be much higher.

The term rehabilitation can actually be a bit misleading. Basically, it is a tailored program of information, education, exercise, lifestyle advice and help with medication.

Crucially it’s also advice and help with the worry, and sometimes depression, associated with this serious disease. In short, it puts you back in control of your life.

It could cost the earth but is doesn’t. Cardiac rehab can cost as little as £600 per patient. Not a lot when it comes to changing - or even saving - someone’s life.

After all, we already know the number of people who die from heart problems after their cardiac treatment is reduced by a quarter following rehabilitation.

It’s an incredible service and yet it is still available to so few.

The prize is improving people’s lives and using NHS resources better by reducing the burden on expensive hospital admissions.

This is a problem that we can fix. For the sake of heart patients and their families, the NHS needs to drive up the numbers benefitting from cardiac rehabilitation.

You can find out where your nearest cardiac rehabilitation programme is by visiting or calling the BHF Heart HelpLine on 0300 330 3311.

By Dr Mike Knapton

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I should digg your article so more folks are able to look at it, very useful, I had a tough time finding the results searching on the web, thanks.

- Thomas