A wearable cardioverter defibrillator, such as the ZOLL LifeVest, is a nonsurgical treatment option for people who are at risk for sudden cardiac arrest. Sudden cardiac arrest means a loss of heart function, breathing, and consciousness. It’s usually caused by an electrical disturbance in the heart, such as a heartbeat that becomes too fast and irregular.
If you’re at risk for sudden cardiac arrest, your doctor may have you use a wearable cardioverter defibrillator, like the ZOLL LifeVest, as a temporary treatment until they decide on a longer-term solution. This device can tell if your heartbeat becomes too fast and irregular, and will deliver an electrical shock to return your heartbeat to a regular rhythm. A wearable defibrillator has two main parts: a vest and a monitor. The lightweight vest is worn against the skin and has electrodes inside it to keep track of your heartbeat.
The monitor is worn around the waist like a fanny pack or attached to a shoulder strap. The monitor records your heartbeat, and if it senses an abnormal heartbeat, it delivers an electrical shock to return your heartbeat to normal. It’s important to wear your device at all times, including while you sleep. The only time you should take off your wearable defibrillator is while taking a short shower or bath.
If you have any questions about this device or your other treatment options, make sure to talk to your care team.