Sudden cardiac arrest (SCA) is the third leading cause of death in the United States. It can strike people of any age group. About 356,000 people experience SCA every year. Nine out of 10 of them will die. If a bystander gives immediate CPR, survival rates may double or triple. Although it can strike any demographic group, chances of suffering from SCA increase with age.
SCA is different from a heart attack. A heart attack can be thought of as a plumbing problem: the heart’s blood supply is blocked causing heart muscle to become injured or die. A person suffering a heart attack is conscious and may complain of symptoms like chest pain, shortness of breath, nausea, or lightheadedness. A heart attack can trigger an SCA event. Sudden cardiac arrest is an electrical problem that prevents the heart from beating effectively. Inefficient beating stops blood from pumping throughout the body and brain, so victims suddenly lose consciousness. There are typically no other warning signs or symptoms of SCA.
Sudden cardiac arrest leads to death (sudden cardiac death, SCD) in minutes if a victim does not immediately get help. For every minute that passes, survival odds decrease by 10%. While CPR may double or triple chances of survival, defibrillation is the most effective treatment to get the heart back to a normal rhythm. If a person is at risk for sudden cardiac arrest, a physician may prescribe the ZOLL LifeVest wearable cardioverter defibrillator (WCD) to provide protection.
While some defibrillator devices are implanted under the skin, ZOLL LifeVest is worn directly against a person’s skin. The WCD allows those at risk to return to most daily activities with peace of mind that they have protection from SCD. ZOLL LifeVest is designed to detect a life-threatening rapid heart rhythm and automatically deliver a life-saving treatment shock. Unlike an automated external defibrillator (AED), the ZOLL LifeVest WCD does not require assistance from another person or emergency personnel to work. The device can protect you even when you are alone.
ZOLL LifeVest consist of a garment, an electrode belt, and a monitor. When worn directly against the skin, the electrodes can detect when the heart has gone into a life-threatening rapid heart rhythm. If that happens, the LifeVest WCD is designed to provide treatment and restore normal heart rhythm. The entire event, from detecting a life-threatening rapid heartbeat to automatically delivering a shock, usually takes less than a minute.
The ZOLL LifeVest WCD is fit to your body and worn under your normal clothes. On any given day, tens of thousands of patients around the world have protection from sudden cardiac death by wearing ZOLL LifeVest.