Living with the LifeVest Wearable Defibrillator

The LifeVest® wearable cardioverter defibrillator (WCD) is designed to detect certain life-threatening rapid heart rhythms and automatically deliver a treatment shock to save your life. No matter where you are or the time of day, the LifeVest WCD can provide sudden cardiac death (SCD) protection when worn as directed. LifeVest can protect 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 most of your normal daily activities with the peace of mind that you have protection from sudden cardiac death. With LifeVest, you can continue to do many of 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.

If you have questions about your ability to operate motorized equipment, such as a car, you should discuss with your doctor. Also, note that 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

LifeVest is designed to continuously monitor your heart rhythm, provide treatment if needed, and transmit patient health data after it is downloaded from the device. While this information may be used by your physician to provide you with medical care, please know that no person is reviewing this data in real time. If you believe you are experiencing a medical emergency, call emergency services.

How do I care for my LifeVest WCD?

It is important to care for your LifeVest WCD so that it can 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. Change your battery – and charge the second battery – every day.
  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.

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


LifeVest WCD Vibration Icon


Felt on your back each time the battery is changed.

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

LifeVest WCD Gong Icon


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.

LifeVest WCD Siren Icon


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

Indicates that the LifeVest WCD may have detected a dangerously fast 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.