SCA and the ZOLL LifeVest Wearable Cardioverter Defibrillator


Defibrillation for Sudden Cardiac Arrest with ZOLL LifeVest

Sudden cardiac arrest, or SCA, is just that – sudden. When a person experiences sudden cardiac arrest, they will not have any warning signs or symptoms. They will quickly pass out and lose consciousness. Once a person experiences SCA, their chances of surviving decrease by 10% for every minute that passes without treatment.

Sudden cardiac arrest happens when the heart’s electrical system fails. This triggers a dangerously fast heartbeat that causes the heart to quiver or shake instead of pumping blood to the body and brain. Without treatment, death (sudden cardiac death, SCD) happens within minutes.

SCA is the nation’s third-highest cause of death; nine in every ten of the 356,000 people who experience SCA per year will die from it. Chances of survival can greatly improve with the quick administration of CPR from a bystander. However, the most effective treatment for a life-threatening rapid heart rhythm is defibrillation, or an electric shock applied to the heart to restore normal rhythm.

The risk of sudden cardiac arrest is higher for certain heart patients. A patient may be at higher risk for SCA who has or experienced one of the following: a low ejection fraction (EF) or weak heart muscle, a prior heart attack, heart failure, a family history of sudden cardiac death, or a viral infection in the heart. Other risk factors for sudden cardiac arrest include high blood pressure, diabetes, obesity, smoking, and high cholesterol.

A physician may prescribe a ZOLL LifeVest wearable cardioverter defibrillator (WCD) to certain heart patients at risk of SCA. A WCD is a defibrillator that’s wore directly against a patient’s skin 24/7. It is only removed for a short shower or bath. ZOLL LifeVest is designed to detect a life-threatening rapid heart rhythm and automatically deliver a treatment shock to restore normal rhythm. The entire event, from detecting a life-threatening rapid heartbeat to automatically delivering a shock, usually takes less than a minute.

At risk heart patients can return to most normal daily activities with ZOLL LifeVest. The LifeVest WCD can provide protection against sudden cardiac death any time of day, even when a patient is alone. When worn as directed, ZOLL LifeVest can provide a constant safeguard against SCD.