Cardiac rehabilitation at The Breaffy Club

Participants in the cardiac rehab class with their instructor  Emer O’Toole at The Breaffy Club

Participants in the cardiac rehab class with their instructor Emer O’Toole at The Breaffy Club

The Breaffy Club offers a wide variety of fitness classes ranging from spinning to swimming lessons with everything in between, one of the classes they are most proud of is their cardiac rehab class which takes place on Mondays at 12pm and Wednesdays at 11am and 12.30pm. This is a specialised class delivered by their instructor Emer O’Toole. To take part in this class you must be referred by your doctor or Cardiac rehab nurse.

Cardiac Rehabilitation is a continuous process commencing in hospital following an acute event and continuing on discharge into the community. Cardiac rehabilitation is predominately offered to individuals following acute Myocardial Infarction, Percutaneous Coronary Intervention, Coronary Artery Bypass Surgery and Heart Valve Surgery. Cardiac Rehabilitation can be divided into four distinct phases. Although evidence now suggests that the programme is very effective for heart failure and peripheral arterial disease patients also.

Phase one

This phase relates to the period of hospitalisation following an acute cardiac event. The duration of this phase may vary depending on the initial diagnosis, the severity of the event and individual institutions. This phase also includes early mobilisation and adequate discharge planning.

Phase two

This phase encompasses the immediate post discharge period, which is typically a period of four to six weeks. It focuses on health education and resumption of physical activity. Some form of contact is maintained with the patient, facilitating ongoing education and exchange of information.

Phase three

This phase is sometimes incorrectly referred to as the 'exercise phase'. However it incorporates exercise training in combination with ongoing education and psychosocial and vocational interventions. The duration of phase three may vary from six to twelve weeks, with patients required to attend a CR unit two to three times weekly for structured exercise and other lifestyle interventions.

Phase four

This phase constitutes the components of long-term maintenance of lifestyle changes. It is when patients leave the structured phase three programme and continue exercise and other lifestyle modifications indefinitely. This may be facilitated in the CR units itself or in a local leisure centre. Alternatively individuals may prefer to exercise independently and phase four may involve helping them set a safe and realistic maintenance programme.

Benefits of Cardiac Rehab

There are many benefits of completing cardiac rehab following a cardiac event, the following are the most notable; (1 ) Reduction in cardiac and all causes mortality (2 ) Improvement in aerobic exercise capacity (3 ) Reduction in cardiovascular risk factors (4 ) Delayed progression of disease (5 ) Improvement in myocardial profusion (6 ) Improvement in symptoms (7 ) Improved psychological and psychosocial well being.

A personal experience of Cardiac Rehab

One of Breaffy Club's clients Eugene Keane gave his experience of the Cardiac Rehab class in The Breaffy Club; “I experienced two vascular events in June 2014 and February 2015, as a result I was referred to Emer in The Breaffy Club for the phase four stage of rehabilitation. The cardiac rehab service is recommended as an after care and support network for both the patient and their families. We are monitored before, during and after the class, I have found that my fitness levels have improved enormously, and I would strongly advise anyone who may find themselves in a similar position to join, it’s not even just for the health benefits but for the social aspect to as you are amongst people who have all had similar experiences of cardiac events”


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