Pulmonary rehab offers help for recovering COVID-19 patients

WESTON, W.Va. – Mon Health Stonewall Jackson Memorial Hospital will be celebrating Pulmonary Rehabilitation Day with a special health fair on Thursday, March 3. The educational event will be held from 11 AM to 1 PM on the ground floor at the local hospital. “Moving more, breathing better” is the national theme for Pulmonary Rehab month in March – one of the goals for the fair.

Pulmonologist Roger Abrahams, MD, and Leigh Anne Jackson, NP-BC will be present at noon to answer any questions the public may have about lung health. CT technician Donna Snyder will also be available to talk about the procedure for early lung cancer screenings.

Department nurse manager Kristi Gannon noted that this is the perfect time to educate patients about the benefits of pulmonary rehab because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“The COVID pandemic resulted in a large variety of chronic health issues such as impaired lung function, reduced exercise performance and diminished quality of life,” Gannon said. “Our pulmonary rehab helps patients who have been weakened by COVID-19 by building back their lung strength. If we help build up those lung muscles patients can breathe easier.”

Unlike other lung diseases, the after-effects of COVID-19 means that lung problems come on immediately as compared to chronic lung disease. With chronic lung disease, the patient may not realize that they have been experiencing shortness of breath for years before coming to pulmonary rehab.

A COVID-19 survivor suffering from breathing problems will acknowledge that it happens suddenly. Many times, survivors will also have scarring on a CT scan of their lungs and a Pulmonary Function Test showing evidence of a restrictive lung disease process.

As well as information about pulmonary rehab, there will be free screenings for weight/height/BMI, blood pressure, and pulse ox. There will also be a depression screening, AED training, a Lewis County Heart Display, eye care, and information on tobacco and vaping, nutrition, CORE, the Family Resource Network, and adult fitness.

Call 304-269-8099 or 304-517-8612 for more information. Visit MonHealth.com/HealthFair for other upcoming events at Mon Health.

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