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Wearable Defibrillator Reduces Mortality after Heart Attack

By HospiMedica International staff writers
Posted on 21 Mar 2018
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Image: The LifeVest WCD (Photo courtesy of Zoll Medical).
Image: The LifeVest WCD (Photo courtesy of Zoll Medical).
A defibrillator vest allows physicians time to assess and optimize medical therapy, and protects patients at risk for sudden cardiac arrest (SCA).

The Zoll Medical (Chelmsford, MA, US) LifeVest Wearable Cardioverter Defibrillator (WCD) is a lightweight vest (worn under clothing) that continuously monitors a patient’s heart with dry, non-adhesive sensing electrodes; if a life-threatening heart rhythm is detected, the device alerts the patient prior to delivering a treatment shock, allowing a conscious patient to delay treatment. If the patient becomes unconscious, the device releases a special gel over the therapy electrodes, delivering an electrical shock to restore normal rhythm.

The LifeVest WCD is prescribed for patients at risk of SCA, including those with a low ejection fraction (EJ), patients who have recently suffered a myocardial infarct (MI), those with a new diagnosis of heart failure (HF), and post-coronary revascularization patients. In a recent study that enrolled 2,302 post-MI patients in four countries, the LifeVest WCD, together with guideline directed medical therapy (GDMT) reduced total mortality by 36% in the first 90 days following MI, compared to GDMT alone. The study was presented American College of Cardiology (ACC) 67th annual scientific session, held during March 2018 in Orlando (FL, USA).

“In addition to the current best practices in medicine which includes GDMT, use of the LifeVest WCD can further reduce mortality in patients with a low EF,” said Kent Volosin, MD, vice president of medical and clinical affairs for ZOLL LifeVest. “The totality of clinical evidence supporting use of the WCD, along with guideline recommendations, underscores the need to evaluate all patients for sudden cardiac death risk and discuss WCD therapy with patients and their families through a shared decision-making approach.”

A companion online patient management system, The LifeVest Network, allows clinicians to monitor patient data downloaded from the LifeVest WCD, which can then be accessed online. The LifeVest Network also allows the physician to monitor patients efficiently and be notified of events recorded by the LifeVest device. The physician can log in and review patient information, or set up alerts and be notified when a patient has clinical information for review.

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