Southwest General Hospital

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Pulmonary Rehabilitation

Pulmonary Rehabilitation

Highly skilled treatment for patients with chronic lung disease

At Southwest General, our Pulmonary Rehabilitation Program is one for breathing-impaired individuals who experience difficulty with shortness of breath, repeated pulmomary flare-ups and hospitalizations or are seeking information to deal with these concerns.  Lung diseases--including COPD--include emphyasema, chronic bronchitis, asthma, pulmonary fibrosis, interstitial lung disease or neuromuscular abnormalities.

Helping Patients to an Improved and Satisfying Life by Improving Lung Function

Our Pulmonary Rehabilitation Program is structured to include exercise, breathing, retraining education and dietary counseling.  The program has specific goals to improve quality of life.  Those goals include: 

  • Decreasing respiratory symptoms and complications
  • Encouraging patients to reach the highest level of independent functioning for daily living
  • Improving physical conditioning and exercise performance
  • Decreasing repeated hospitalizations


Medical necessity for pulmonary rehabilitation is demonstrated by patients who meet certain criteria.  This is done by having pulmonary function test (spirometry) that will confirm the degree of severity.

A Three-Phase Program for a Continuum of Care

There are three phases that are led by registered respiratory therapists who are continually learning new and improved techniques in pulmonary rehabilitation. This includes new medical technology, modalities and educational forms.

  • Phase I

    This is an initial counseling session in the inpatient setting with a physician referral to explain the pulmonary rehabilitation program.  The phase is also for inpatient smoking cessation visits.

  • Phase II

    Exercise and educational sessions lasting approximately two hours, for eight weeks, one Tuesdays, Thrusdays and Friday mornings or Monday, Wednesdays and Friday afternoons.  Initial assessment is done at the main hospital on Main Campus.  The Phase II and III programs are held at the Strongsville Medical Center, 18181 Pearl Road, in Strongsville.

    The phase II program will improve heart and lung function, thereby strengthening the muscles used for breathing.  Often times, patients may limit physicial activities because of the fear of becoming short of breath.  Over time, muscle strength decreases, and patients find themselves becoming weaker.  Southwest General's program enables patients to pursue activities to the fullest extent of their abilities.  This boosts confidence to maintain physical fitness and have full control over breathing.

    The physical conditioning is done in a group setting--limited to four patients--and includes activities such as stationary bicycling, treadmill, pulley weights, rowing machine, hand weights, arm ergometers and a stationary weight machine.

    COPD Education - This first hour is dedicated solely to exercise, and the final hour is an educational session.  Phase II includes:

    • Lung anatomy—both normal and abnormal
    • Breathing retraining
    • Types of respiratory care equipment—use, cleaning and care
    • What to expect if and when an emergency room visit happens
    • Respiratory medicines
    • Instructions in breathing and relaxation techniques
    • How to conserve energy for many daily activities
    • Subjects concerning your disease processes
    • Occasional guest speakers
    • Heart anatomy


    Upon graduation from Phase II program, we encourage patient to further their rehabilitation, whether it be home exercise, local recreation center or in our Phase III program.  Our Phase II graduates enjoy a special camaraderie and this continues and grows.

  • Phase III

    Continuation of Phase II is offered on Tuesday and Thursday mornings, afternoons and evenings. These sessions are self-pay and monitored. Oxygen is provided, if needed. This part of the program stresses continuing physical conditioning.

We Look Forward to Helping You

For more information about Southwest General’s Pulmonary Rehabilitation Program, please call 440-816-8982.

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Southwest General Sets the Bar High for Care of Stroke and Heart Failure Patients
Each year, 795,000 people across the U.S. experience a stroke. Approximately 5.7 million people suffer from heart failure.
Why can’t I breathe? Why am I so tired all the time?
Southwest General’s Pulmonary Hypertension Center may have the answers you’ve been looking for!