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This section contains media releases released a little while ago. Please note that due to the long time when some of these were released images have been removed and some links might no longer work.

February 14, 2007

Mending broken hearts

Valentines- a day symbolised by hearts is the perfect day for the West Coast DHB to announce its new cardiac rehabilitation programme, which aims to mend broken hearts in this region.

The West Coast has one of the highest rates of heart disease in the country and a new community based programme is aiming to help those who have suffered from a cardiac event regain health and maintain it for the long term.

This programme is in addition to hospital level care.

Cardiac Nurse Specialists Lisa Smith and Karyn Kelly have been seeing patients who have suffered a cardiac event such as heart attack, angina and coronary bypass surgery. The patients are referred to them on admission to hospital.

The goal being to assist patients to continue their recovery once they have returned home.

Lisa Smith said for some of the patients a cardiac event can mean they need to make significant changes in not only their lives but their family's lives as well, while for others small changes can lead to significant benefits.

"We really encourage people to bring a support person or family member to our meetings, because heart disease affects not only the patients but those around them as well."

The programme involves providing patients with up to date information, assisting with lifestyle changes, assistance to lead an active and enjoyable life and to help families deal with the psychological issues that are common with heart problems.

Cardiac patients will meet each week at Grey Base Hospital for two hours and will be run through a six week physical rehabilitation programme by the physiotherapists, as well as education sessions provided by allied health staff such as dietitians, pharmacists, social workers and if needed smoking cessation, all supported by the cardiac team.

The long-term goal of the programme to assist patients to maintain their quality of life while attempting to prevent them from suffering further heart problems.

People wanting more information can contact Lisa or Karyn at Grey Base Hospital.

For more information please contact
Vikki Carter
Community Liaison Officer
03 768 0499, Extn. 2665
027 245 9595

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