May 24, 2011
SALEM, IN – Last spring, local dentist, Gene Hedrick, DDS, scheduled a routine endoscopy with Jeffrey Morgan, MD.
“During my office visit with him prior to the procedure, he asked me if I had been experiencing any chest pain,” said Hedrick. “In fact, I had been experiencing some mild chest pain, but I didn’t think too much about it.”
As a precautionary measure, Morgan ordered a stress test which was performed at St.Vincent Salem Hospital’s Cardiology Clinic.
“Gene was very lucky,” said Morgan. “I never want to put my patients through a procedure, unless I’m totally sure they are healthy enough to handle the strain on their body. Patients don’t always realize that mild chest discomfort can be a huge warning sign. That’s why it is so important for patients to communicate openly with their physicians. We need to know any issues you’ve been having, even if you don’t think it is worth mentioning.”
“Needless to say, I flunked the test,” said Hedrick.
Hedrick’s cardiologist, James Van Tassel, MD, a long-time family friend who practices at St.Vincent Heart Center in Indianapolis, schedule a cardiac cath procedure. “They found blockage in four arteries. Stents were placed in the vessels that were 95 percent, 85 percent and 75 percent blocked and angioplasty was performed on the vessel with 45-50 percent blockage.”
After staying in the hospital in Indianapolis for a few days, Hedrick returned home with orders to begin outpatient Cardiac Rehabilitation at St.Vincent Salem Hospital. Cardiac Rehabilitation nurse, Brenda Mollet, RN worked with his cardiologist to develop a rehab plan tailored to his needs. Hedrick came to the hospital three days a week during the Phase II program.
Phase II cardiac rehabilitation, which is covered by insurance, normally consists of 24 to 36 visits. In a controlled and monitored setting, the cardiac rehabilitation team works with each patient to overcome soreness from the procedure, rebuild physical and cardiac strength and overcome anxiety. “Many times patients experience extreme anxiety and depression after a cardiac event,” said Mollet. “Ninety-eight percent of patients experience some degree of depression. We work with each patient on an individual basis to help them overcome these obstacles. As their strength increases, their outlook on life improves tremendously.”
During Phase II patients also meet with a dietitian to go over their dietary needs and restrictions. “I was given a great deal of education and materials to read,” said Hedrick. “Jackie Kramer, the hospital dietitian met with me and went over everything I needed to know about my diet.”
“Patients not only benefit physically from Cardiac Rehab,” stated Mollet. “But, they benefit emotionally from the other participants. It helps to encourage them that they can get back to normal when they see other patients who have come so far. “
Once patients graduate from Phase II, they are offered a Phase III program which is not covered by insurance. “The cost is less than $65 per month, but the patients can continue to be monitored during their workouts. It gives patients a level of security that they might not get from a traditional workout facility,” said Mollet. “This is a great option for patients who cannot or will not continue with the exercise on their own. It gives them a sense of accountability.”
“The staff was very caring and concerned about me,” said Hedrick. “I had to miss a couple of sessions and they called to make sure I was okay. They were personally concerned about my well-being. It made me feel really good to have that personalized attention. I’m not sure I would have gotten that at a larger facility.”
In October, Hedrick underwent a second stress test. “This time I passed with flying colors, and I was finally able to have my scope in January.”
“I was very pleased with the care I received at St.Vincent Salem Hospital. I have never had a bad experience there and I definitely recommend the cardiac rehabilitation department and the cardiology services to anyone who needs them.”
St.Vincent Salem Hospital offers stress testing and many other cardiology-related tests through the highly qualified cardiology physicians who practice in the clinic.
For more information on the Cardiology program at St.Vincent Salem Hospital, call 812-883-8502 or the Cardiac Rehabilitation department at 812-896-0139.
For more information contact:
(812) 883-5881 ext. 1366MLRicha1@stvincent.org