SCA and the ZOLL LifeVest

Medical Services

Continuous Monitoring and Rapid SCA Intervention with ZOLL LifeVest

Sudden cardiac arrest, or SCA, is a life-threatening emergency that can happen at any time and without warning. When a person experiences SCA, it will trigger a dangerously fast heartbeat. This causes their heart to quiver or shake instead of pumping blood to the body and brain. Once this happens, the person will suddenly pass out. Death occurs in minutes without treatment, which is known as sudden cardiac death (SCD). For every minute that passes, chances of survival decrease by 10%.

SCA is one of the leading causes of death in the United States. Approximately 350,000 people will experience SCA each year. 9 out of 10 victims will die; however, chances of survival can double or triple with immediate intervention. The most effective treatment for SCA is defibrillation. Defibrillation is an electric shock to the heart to restore normal heart rhythm.

A well-known form of defibrillation is using an automated external defibrillator (AED). AEDs are commonly carried by emergency responders, but they can also be found in public places like offices, shopping centers, restaurants, and airports. An AED requires a bystander to witness SCA and then operate the device and administer treatment to the victim; however, a wearable cardioverter defibrillator can automatically deliver life-saving treatment.

ZOLL LifeVest is a wearable cardioverter defibrillator (WCD), that unlike an AED, is worn continuously by a person at risk of SCA. When worn as directed, the device can provide a constant safeguard against SCD, even when a person is alone. LifeVest is designed to detect a life-threatening rapid heart rhythm and automatically deliver a treatment shock to restore your normal rhythm. The entire event, from detecting a life-threatening rapid heartbeat to automatically delivering a shock, usually takes less than a minute.

Those at risk of experiencing SCA include:

  • A low ejection fraction (EF) or weak heart muscle
  • Prior heart attack
  • Heart failure
  • A history of sudden cardiac death in your family
  • A viral infection in your heart
  • Other risk factors for SCD include high blood pressure, diabetes, obesity, smoking, and high cholesterol

ZOLL LifeVest is designed to continuously monitor heart rhythm, provide treatment if needed, and transmit patient health data after it is downloaded from the device. This information may be used by a physician to provide better medical care; however, no person reviews the data in real time.