New treadmills tackle heart disease one step at a time

Left to right: Nursing unit manager for cardiac rehabilitation at Western Sydney Local Health District Robert Zecchin, cardiologist Dr David Burgess, acting general manager Blacktown and Mount Druitt hospitals Luke Elias with patient John Vella.

Western Sydney patients with serious heart issues will benefit from two brand new medical and bariatric treadmills at Mount Druitt Hospital to help fast track their recovery.

The new equipment, valued at $17,000 funded by the NSW Government, will enhance the support already provided through the hospital’s cardiac rehabilitation program, which assists people who have had heart attacks, open heart surgery and had stents inserted.

The new treadmills will be available in the hospital’s Cardiac Rehab Hub, where regular exercise is encouraged amongst patients. They will replace older treadmills that were in use.

Left to right: Member of the Legislative Council The Hon Shayne Mallard, Liberal Candidate for Londonderry Belinda Hill, member for Mount Druitt Edmond Atalla, nursing unit manager Robert Zecchin, cardiologist Dr David Burgess and acting general manager Blacktown and Mount Druitt hospitals Luke Elias.

Schofields resident John Vella visits the rehab gym following triple bypass surgery late last year.

“I come here twice a week. Attending the gym is part of my rehab process after surgery,” John said.

“I found out I needed the surgery because of a routine check – I was told I had arteries that were 80 to 85 per cent blocked.

“Now that I’ve done my surgery, I need to attend the gym as part a six week course that’s part of my rehab.”

Mount Druitt Hospital Cardiac Rehabilitation Nurse Unit Manager Robert Zecchin said that it is important for patients with heart disease to participate in regular exercise.

“We want our patients in Mount Druitt Hospital’s cardiac rehab hub to maintain regular exercise by using a treadmill which will safely increase their heart rate and reduce blood pressure to benefit their heart health,” Robert said.

“The aim is to strengthen muscles to help our patients return to normal activities including work or social activities.”

Robert said the average age of patients is 60 years, however there are some younger patients who attend the rehabilitation program.

“We also encourage and welcome Aboriginal patients to use our program as we have a dedicated Aboriginal health worker who provides cardiac rehabilitation unit,” Robert said.

“We have a large number of Aboriginal people in our community who have heart disease or have had a cardiovascular event such as heart failure or stroke.

Patient John Vella regularly visits the rehab gym at Mount Druitt Hospital after his bypass surgery late last year.

“Heart disease does not discriminate and can affect anyone at any time. Heart disease is also the biggest killer of females in Australia.

“We encourage people to live and think healthy, stay active, eat well balanced meals, take their medication as prescribed, cease smoking and reduce their daily alcohol intake, and visit their GP regularly.”

For further information on this program please contact Liza, Evelyn, Sue or Karen on 9881 1802.