Who Can Benefit from the ZOLL LifeVest
When a person’s heart suddenly stops beating effectively, it is a life-threatening emergency known as a sudden cardiac arrest (SCA). A person experiencing SCA will often suddenly collapse and lose consciousness. Survival rates dramatically drop if treatment is not immediately received. Over 355,000 people every year experience an SCA and it is the third leading cause of death in the United States.
Unlike a heart attack where a person is conscious and may complain of symptoms like chest pain, shortness of breath, nausea, or lightheadedness, SCA typically has no warning signs or symptoms. Sudden cardiac arrest victims will quickly pass out and lose consciousness.
The most common reason a person experiences an SCA is a problem with their heart’s electrical system. The electrical system of a person’s heart controls the rhythm and rate of their heartbeat. When this system fails, a person’s heart can beat too slow or too fast or irregularly. Erratic and rapid electrical impulses will result in a person’s heart quivering instead of effectively pumping blood. Without immediate treatment, death, known as sudden cardiac death (SCD), can occur within minutes.
In many cases, SCA is the first sign of a problem with the heart. However, there are certain heart patients who are known to be at an increased risk for SCA. This includes patients who have a reduced heart function following a heart attack or a new diagnosis of heart failure or cardiomyopathy. For these patients, a wearable cardioverter defibrillator can be a treatment option.
ZOLL LifeVest is a wearable cardioverter defibrillator (WCD) worn by patients who are at risk of experiencing SCA. It is designed to continuously monitor a person’s heart. Should a person experience SCA, ZOLL LifeVest can automatically deliver a treatment shock to restore a person’s normal heart rhythm. The device allows patients to return to most normal daily activities with the peace of mind that they have protection from sudden cardiac death. LifeVest does not require the assistance of another person or emergency personnel for it to work. It can protect patients even when they are alone.
How It Works
The ZOLL LifeVest WCD consists of three main parts: a garment, an electrode belt, and a monitor. The garment is worn directly against a person’s skin and holds the electrode belt, which is designed to monitor a patient’s heart rhythm and deliver treatment shocks if needed. The monitor can be worn around the waist or with a shoulder strap and continuously records heart rate. When a patient experiences certain rapid, life-threatening heart rhythms, LifeVest is designed to detect the event and automatically delivers a treatment shock, usually in less than a minute.