Physician Prescriptions for LifeVest Wearable Defibrillator Top 12,000


December 8, 2008

December 8, 2008 - ZOLL Medical Corp. said last week more than 12,000 patients at high risk of sudden cardiac arrest (SCA) have been prescribed the ZOLL LifeVest Wearable Defibrillator by their physician since it was approved by the FDA in 2002.

The company said this represents more than 2,000 years of cumulative patient time wearing a LifeVest, and, in any given month, more than 1,000 patients are being protected from sudden death wearing the LifeVest, Zoll said.

LifeVest is a wearable defibrillator that has a 98 percent first shock success rate for treating patients with SCA. In addition, no bystander intervention is required, the company said. The non-invasive technology continuously monitors the patient’s heart and, if a life-threatening heart rhythm is detected, the device alerts the patient prior to delivering a shock. The device releases a conductive gel onto the therapy electrodes to protect the skin, and then delivers a shock to restore normal heart rhythm. The entire event, from detecting a life-threatening arrhythmia to automatically delivering a defibrillation shock, usually occurs in less than a minute. Timely defibrillation is the single most important factor in saving a SCA victim’s life.

There are two main components to the LifeVest: a garment and a monitor. The garment is worn under clothing and records arrhythmias, including before and after treatment. If it detects a life-threatening rhythm, the device alerts the patient to allow a conscious patient to prevent the shock. If the patient is unconscious, the device delivers an electric shock to attempt to restore normal rhythm. The lightweight monitor weighs about 1.8 pounds and is worn around the waist or from a shoulder strap, making it the only wearable external defibrillator available, the company said. Patients wearing the LifeVest are encouraged to wear the device continuously, excluding time when bathing or showering.

Additionally, patients can connect the LifeVest monitor to a telephone modem, and transmit their heart monitoring data to the LifeVest Network, where their physicians can review the data.

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