Medical Device, ZOLL LifeVest, Helping Patients At Risk of Sudden Cardiac Arrest

Certain heart patients could be at an increased risk of sudden cardiac arrest (SCA). SCA occurs when an electrical disturbance occurs in the heart and disrupts the pumping process. This disturbance can cause a life-threatening rapid heart rhythm, which stops efficient pumping and keeps blood from reaching the body and brain. When this happens, a victim will suddenly pass out and lose consciousness. If a victim doesn’t immediately receive treatment, death can happen within minutes – known as sudden cardiac death (SCD).

This risk of sudden cardiac arrest is high for certain heart patients. A patient who has experienced one of the following may be at risk for SCA: 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.

When sudden cardiac arrest occurs and the heart goes into a life-threatening rapid rhythm, defibrillation is the most effective treatment. Defibrillation is applying a controlled electric shock to the heart to restore normal rhythm. For every minute treatment is delayed, chances of survival decrease by 10%.

Certain heart patients have an increased risk of sudden cardiac arrest, including patients who have a reduced heart function following a heart attack or a new diagnosis of heart failure or non-ischemic cardiomyopathy. For these individuals, a physician may prescribe the ZOLL LifeVest wearable cardioverter defibrillator (WCD) so that patients can have protection.

ZOLL LifeVest is worn directly against a patient’s skin. It is designed to detect a life-threatening rapid heart rhythm and automatically deliver a treatment shock to save a patient’s life. It does not require bystander intervention, so it can provide SCD protection even when a patient is alone.

Lisa Sutherland has first-hand experience of the medical device’s life-saving treatment. Lisa was diagnosed with heart failure just before her 50th birthday. Her cardiologist prescribed ZOLL LifeVest for sudden cardiac death protection once she left the hospital. Eight days later, she abruptly lost consciousness and collapsed to the floor. The LifeVest WCD detected the dangerous heartbeat and delivered a treatment shock that restored her normal heart rhythm and saved her life. “If your doctor asks you about LifeVest, say yes. And wear it every day,” said Lisa. On any given day, tens of thousands of people around the world have protection from SCD by wearing ZOLL LifeVest.

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