Pulmonary Rehab Program is Step in Right Direction for Lung Disease Patient

Vol. 16, No. 1
Winter 2006

  • Winthrop's Bariatric Surgery Program Leaves Lives Forever Changed

  • Bariatric Surgery Procedure

  • Angioplasty Proceduresat Winthrop Ranked at the Top by NY State's Health Department

  • Singapore Doctors and Hospital Leaders Tour Winthrop's Cardiac Care Facilities

  • Pulmonary Rehab Programis Step in Right Direction for Lung Disease Patient

  • First Annual Pulmonary Hypertension Walk Raises Thousands for Research

  • Winthrop's Diabetes Education Center Celebrates Grand Opening of New,Larger Facility

  • Winthrop's Diabetes Education Program Once Again Merits ADA Recognition

  • Annual Check-Up Catches Early-Stage Tumor, Minimally Invasive Procedure Spares Kidney

  • Winthrop First to Perform Spinal Radiosurgery with CyberKnife

  • ASU Tours Help Young Patients Prepare for Surgery

  • An Elegant Evening of Celebration & Charity

  • The Guardian Society Thinking Ahead for Your Future and Winthrop's

  • Syde Hurdus Foundation Supports Endoscopy Center and Research

  • Treiber Family Gives in Memory of Their Son

  • First Annual "Evening of Tasting & Giving" Raises Thousands

  • Cardiac Surgeon and Family Donate in Support of Heart Surgery Center Construction

  • Auxilians Once Again Join Hands to Help Pediatrics

  • "Extend the Holidays" Toy Drive Keeps Smiles Going

  • The Pat Lyons Foundation

  • "Family Sunday" Created for Cancer Center for Kids' Patients

  • Jay's World Foundation Furthers Support of Winthrop's Pediatric Facilities

  • Williston Park Rotary Lends Support for Cancer Survivors' Program

  • Winthrop Welcomes 2006 Golf Tournament Co-Chairs

  • Garden City Resident Celebrates Birthday by Helping Young Patients

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  • Mrs. Labbate attends exercise sessions twice a week where she's developed friendships with fellow program participants. She marvels at how well she and the participants do week-to-week.
    Before she was diagnosed with Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) three years ago, 69-year-old Dolores Labbate, a nonsmoker and an avid walker who enjoyed daily three-mile treks, began to experience shortness of breath, chest tightness and labored breathing.

    A progressive disease of the airways, COPD slowly takes its toll on the body as the lungs gradually lose functioning. "I believe I must have had COPD long before I was diagnosed," she said, noting she remembers feeling the effects of the disease years ago.

    Mrs. Labbate's symptoms may have been masked when she was diagnosed with breast cancer eight years ago and irregular arrhythmia shortly thereafter. "Everything was difficult to do," she explained. "I would clean for a bit and then I would have to stop. And, I loved cooking, but COPD really slowed me down."

    That's until she visited with Peter Spiegler, MD, Medical Director of Pulmonary Rehabilitation and Respiratory Care at Winthrop, who confirmed COPD with a lung function test. He placed her on a course of medication and a two-day-per-week exercise regimen at Winthrop's Pulmonary Rehabilitation Center. He also directed her to Winthrop's Eager Breathers (WEB) support group.

    Mrs. A simple test of lung functioning to confirm COPD, spirometry involves breathing as fast and as hard as possible into a tube after taking a deep breath.
    "Mild and regular exercise regimens boost the upper body's strength and benefit the overall health of the respiratory system," explained Dr. Spiegler. "She was determined to get her level of endurance back, and Winthrop's program helped her achieve her goal. It's really boosted her tolerance for physical activities."

    At the Center, she exercises in the company of other COPD patients, who are a circle of friends she relies on. The support from the group and her therapists quickly got her on the path to an improved sense of well-being.

    "After the program's completion, Mrs. Labbate has continued using the skills she learned during rehab, and as a result, she has been able to successfully maintain a quality of life close to what she had prior to her diagnosis," said Mara Bernstein, LRT, Administrative Director, Outpatient Services, Winthrop.

    (L-R) Alan Lurie, RRT, Winthrop; Dolores Labbate, COPD patient; Peter Spiegler, MD, Medical Director, Pulmonary Rehabilitation Center and Respiratory Care, Winthrop.
    "The program has helped me greatly. I walk more, and I can do a lot more than I ever thought I could. I am doing marvelously now," Mrs. Labbate explained. "The staff is unbelievably well-trained and dedicated, and the group is family; they are really exceptional. I would recommend this program to anyone diagnosed with COPD. It's the best thing they can do for themselves."

    According to national health reports, an estimated 24 million adults have impaired lung function, indicating that COPD, which is incurable, is underdiagnosed. Since COPD is typically linked to smoking and only some of the damage is reversible, early detection and smoking cessation are stressed.

      According to the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute:
    • COPD is the fourth leading cause of death in the U.S.
    • The most important risk factor for COPD is cigarette smoking.
    • COPD symptoms range from chronic cough and sputum production to severe, disabling shortness of breath.
    For more information about COPD, treatments and the WEB program, call (516) 663-2579.

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