ZOLL LifeVest: A Solution for Heart Patients at Risk for Sudden Cardiac Arrest

The third leading cause of death in the United States is SCA – sudden cardiac arrest.

SCA is a sudden stoppage of the heart. When it strikes, the victim can collapse almost instantly and may not be breathing normally. Victims are also likely to be non-responsive when attempting to talk to them or rouse them. Death can follow quickly, often within minutes, if emergency treatment is not administered.

SCA occurs in more than 356,000 people every year, and outside of the hospital, nine out of 10 will die. The rate of survival increases greatly when individuals receive immediate treatment. If a person witnesses the SCA, CPR can be done manually. The most effective treatment is defibrillation – a controlled electrical shock to the heart.

A physician may prescribe certain individuals at high risk for SCD the ZOLL LifeVest wearable cardioverter defibrillator (WCD). This wearable personal defibrillator is worn under clothing and should only be removed for a short shower or bath. The device is designed to detect certain life-threatening rapid heart rhythms and automatically deliver a treatment shock to save the patient’s life.

LifeVest is comprised of a garment, an electrode belt, and a monitor. The garment is worn directly against the patient’s skin and contains the electrode belt. The electrodes are designed to detect dangerous heart rhythms and deliver a treatment shock if needed. The monitor is worn around the waist or with a shoulder strap.

LifeVest is a treatment option for certain heart patients, including those who have a reduced ejection fraction following a heart attack, a bypass or stent placement procedure, or a new diagnosis of heart failure or non-ischemic cardiomyopathy. LifeVest can provide protection from SCA while individuals are recovering from these conditions, until either their heart approves or their doctor determines that they need a long-term solution for protection, such as an implantable defibrillator (ICD).

Sudden cardiac arrest is truly sudden and often occurs without any warning signs or symptoms. Victims often lose consciousness in moments, and due to this sudden nature, they may be unable to call for help. Unlike traditional automated external defibrillator (AED) devices, which require another person to administer treatment, LifeVest can deliver treatment automatically with no bystander intervention. The device is designed to provide constant protection against sudden cardiac death, allowing patients to return to most daily activities with peace of mind.

Evie Nasir

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