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US News & World Report: March 2018

Defibrillator-in-a-Vest May Help Heart Attack Survivors

In this article provided by HealthDay, reporters share results of the VEST Trial (Vest Prevention of Early Sudden Death Trial). According to Dr. Jeffrey Olgin, co-principal investigator of the VEST Trial, “There is a very high risk of death immediately after a heart attack that tails off after about three months.” The VEST Trial was designed to test the benefit of LifeVest use for patients who recently suffered a heart attack and had reduced heart function.

Illustration of the ZOLL LifeVest, a wearable defibrillator for patients at risk of sudden cardiac death

LifeVest is a wearable cardioverter defibrillator (WCD) prescribed to patients at risk of sudden cardiac death (SCD), including those who have a reduced heart function following a heart attack or new diagnosis of heart failure.

Sudden cardiac death (SCD) occurs without warning. The heart’s electrical system controls the heartbeat. When this system fails, it may trigger a dangerously fast heartbeat. This fast heartbeat causes the heart to quiver or shake instead of pumping blood to the body and brain. When this happens, a person can suddenly pass out. Without treatment, death occurs in minutes.

LifeVest monitors the patient's heart continuously, and if the patient goes into a life-threatening heart rhythm, the LifeVest WCD delivers a treatment shock to restore the patient's heart to normal rhythm.

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