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Wearable Defibrillator Protects Patients from Cardiac Arrest

By HospiMedica International staff writers
Posted on 30 Mar 2017
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Image: The Hospital Wearable Defibrillator protects patients at risk of VT or VF (Photo courtesy of ZOLL).
Image: The Hospital Wearable Defibrillator protects patients at risk of VT or VF (Photo courtesy of ZOLL).
A portable defibrillator continuously protects patients at risk from ventricular tachycardia (VT) or ventricular fibrillation (VF) episodes during their stay in the hospital.

The ZOLL Hospital Wearable Defibrillator (HWD) provides patients at risk for VT or VF with continuous protection anytime (day or night) in the hospital through automatic detection and immediate, timely defibrillation within 60 seconds. The device continuously monitors the patient's heart using dry, non-adhesive sensing electrodes to detect abnormal heart rhythms. If such a life-threatening cardiac rhythm is detected, the device alerts the patient prior to delivering a treatment shock, allowing a conscious patient to delay the shock.

The HWD identifies life-threatening VT/VF using the same arrhythmia detection algorithm used in the LifeVest wearable defibrillator for outpatients, which analyzes both heart rate and QRS morphology, making it highly sensitive and specific to treatment of ventricular arrhythmias, resulting in exclusion of rhythms that are neither VT or VF. The ZOLL HWD is product of ZOLL Medical Corporation, and has been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

“The HWD offers hospital care teams a new option for managing patients at risk of VT/VF by providing continuous protection even outside of very expensive, high-acuity care areas,” said Jonathan Rennert, CEO of ZOLL. “It complements the tool kit the care team has in place for responding to cardiac arrest.”

“The ability to provide hospitalized patients at risk for malignant ventricular arrhythmias a safe and effective device that enables rapid defibrillation represents a significant improvement in the care of cardiovascular patients,” said David Shavelle, MD, of the University of Southern California (USC; Los Angeles, USA).

VF and VT are life-threatening abnormal heart rhythms that are the most common cause of sudden cardiac arrest (SCA), according to the U.S. National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute. Diseases and conditions that can lead to SCA include heart disease and inherited disorders and structural changes in the heart, such as those resulting from congenital heart disease (CHD) or infection. Most people who suffer SCA will die from it, often within minutes. Rapid treatment with a defibrillator can save their lives.

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