Living with the LifeVest Wearable Defibrillator

If you have a life-threatening heart rhythm while wearing the LifeVest® wearable cardioverter defibrillator (WCD), it will automatically deliver a shock to save your life. No matter where you are or the time of day, the LifeVest WCD will provide sudden cardiac death (SCD) protection. LifeVest protects you even when you are alone. It is therefore critical that you wear the LifeVest WCD at all times—including while you sleep.

What can I do while I’m wearing the LifeVest WCD?

LifeVest allows you to return to your normal daily activities with the peace of mind that you are protected from sudden cardiac death. With LifeVest, you can continue to do the things you enjoy, like spending time with family and friends, without worrying about your risk of SCD. Wear the LifeVest WCD when you go to a restaurant, to your place of worship, when doing chores around the house, even to your next doctor’s appointment.

The only time you should remove your LifeVest WCD is while taking a short shower or bath. This should only be done when someone is home with you, if possible.

Loud or high vibration environments can make it difficult for you to hear an alert, so if you find yourself in these types of environments or situations, you should be extra attentive to the LifeVest WCD to ensure that you are able to respond to any alerts. For example, riding a motorcycle or using some lawn mowers may cause vibration and make it difficult for you to hear an alert, which may result in an inappropriate treatment.

Wearing the LifeVest WCD

How do I care for my LifeVest WCD?

It is important to care for your LifeVest WCD so that it is ready to protect you if you need it. Follow these steps to ensure you are taking good care of your LifeVest WCD on a daily basis:

  1. 1. Change your battery – and charge the second battery – every day.
  2. 2. Wash your LifeVest WCD garment every 1-2 days.
    • DO NOT use chlorine bleach or bleach alternatives, fabric softeners, anti-static sprays, or any detergent that contain these additives.
    • DO NOT wash the electrode belt or monitor.
  3. Caring for Your LifeVest WCD

    Change your battery every day

    Wash your garment every 1-2 days

    What do the alerts mean?

    One of the key features of LifeVest is the series of alerts and voice prompts that keep you informed about what the device is doing. These alerts let you know that the LifeVest WCD is working to protect you.

    LifeVest has Three Types of Alerts: Vibrations, Gongs, and Sirens


    Felt on your back each time the battery is changed.

    Indicates the beginning of the LifeVest WCD treatment sequence when a life-threatening heartbeat is detected.


    A low-pitched sound that repeats once every second.

    Accompanied by a message on the monitor.

    Read the message on the monitor screen to decide what you need to do.


    Two-toned siren starts low, but increases in volume as the treatment sequence advances.

    Indicates that the LifeVest WCD may have detected a dangerous heartbeat.

    Watch this video to learn more and to hear the LifeVest gong and siren alerts: Responding to LifeVest WCD Alerts

    If you have additional questions, refer to your patient manual for more information or call ZOLL at 1-800-543-3267.