Sudden cardiac arrest (SCA) happens when the heart’s electrical system, which controls the heartbeat, suddenly fails. When this happens, it can trigger a dangerously fast heartbeat, which cause the heart to quiver instead of pumping blood to the body and brain. Without treatment, death occurs in minutes. This is known as sudden cardiac death (SCD).
An irregular heart rhythm can occur at any time and without warning. Recent statistics show 70% of SCA events happen at home. When a person experiences sudden cardiac arrest, there are typically no warning signs or symptoms. They quickly pass out and are unable to call for help.
The most effective treatment to correct a life-threatening rapid heart rhythm is defibrillation – an electrical shock to get the heart back to a normal rhythm. To provide constant protection, persons at risk of sudden cardiac arrest may be prescribed a ZOLL LifeVest wearable cardioverter defibrillator (WCD). The medical device is worn directly against a person’s skin and is designed to detect life-threatening rapid heart rhythms. If defibrillation is needed, ZOLL LifeVest will automatically deliver a treatment shock to restore normal heart rhythm.
The ZOLL LifeVest WCD is comprised of three main parts: a garment, an electrode belt, and a monitor. The garment is worn against the skin and contains the electrode belt, which detects dangerous heart rhythms and delivers treatment. The monitor can either be worn around the waist or with a shoulder strap. It is designed to continuously record heart rate.
If treatment is needed, a person wearing ZOLL LifeVest does not require a bystander to intervene. The entire event, from detecting a life-threatening rapid heartbeat to automatically delivering a shock, usually takes less than a minute. The LifeVest WCD can provide protection against sudden cardiac death even when a person is alone. Therefore, a person prescribed ZOLL LifeVest should wear the device at all times, only removing for a short shower or bath.