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Cardiac Arrest emergency - The World's First Wearable Defibrillator

Updated on March 27, 2013

World's First Wearable Defibrillator

World's First Wearable Defibrillator
World's First Wearable Defibrillator

In the U.S. alone, hundreds of people have died annually from cardiac arrest, sometimes refer to as sudden cardiac arrest. However, many of these lives could be saved if only there were quicker responses or more advanced approaches in dealing with this type of emergency. It seems as if the recent introduction of the LifeVest Wearable Defibrillator is the only promising solution at present.

The heart is equipped with an internal electrical system that controls the rhythm of the heartbeat. Problems can cause abnormal heart rhythms, called arrhythmias. There are several types of arrhythmia. During an arrhythmia, the heart can beat too rapid, too slow, or it can stop beating. When the heart develops an arrhythmia that causes it to discontinue beating, sudden cardiac arrest occurs. Note, this is not the same as a heart attack, where the heart usually continues to beat although it's blood supply is blocked or cut off.

There are several possible causes of cardiac arrest. This life threatening emergency may result from coronary heart disease, heart attack, electrocution, drowning, or choking. However, there are still some unknown causes of Cardiac Arrest.

Without immediate medical attention, the person will die within a few minutes. People are less likely to die if they have early cardiopulmonary resuscitation(CPR) and defibrillation. Defibrillation is the act of delivering an electric shock to restore the heart rhythm to normal.

LifeVest -- The World's First Wearable Defibrillator

Advancement in medical technology has lead to the design of an important piece of medical device. The LifeVest Wearable Defibrillator is said to be a treatment option for sudden cardiac arrest, offering patients constant monitoring of the heart, immediate protection, and peace of mind.

The LifeVest is not implanted in the chest, instead, it's worn outside the body. This new medical device is specifically designed to monitor the patient's heart continuously with dry, non-adhesive electrodes. It is believed to alert the patient to prevent a shock, if it detects a life-threatening rhythm of the heart. According to the developer, this device is capable of delivering an electrical shock to restore normal rhythm in an unconscious patient.

This Defibrillator is classified as durable medical equipment(DME) and typically is rented to patients on a monthly basis. ZOLL Lifecor Corporation handles the patient fitting,training,and billing.

Medicare's coverage for this LifeVest includes the primary prevention of sudden cardiac arrest with no restrictions for patients with an EF<36%(Ejection Fraction greater than 36%). However, private insurers may offer a broader coverage.


Beyond all reasonable doubts, the introduction of the first wearable defibrillator to deal with cases of cardiac arrest emergency could possibly help to dramatically decrease the annual death rate as a result of cardiac arrest. However, when we think about the cost and medical insurance involved, it leaves us with this very important question: How many people will be able to actually afford this Wearble LifeVest? Finally, as with all new state of the arts technology, it will definitely take some time to confirm the reliability of this new device.


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    • mackyi profile image

      I.W. McFarlane 6 years ago from Philadelphia

      Lol,I like the way you put it "A Security Blanket."I would certainly like to do a follow-up on this new device, just to see the rate of success!

    • Brett.Tesol profile image

      Brett Caulton 6 years ago from Thailand

      What a great invention! It must be like a security blanket to those that know they have a problem, as it will not only warn them, but can even restart their heart ... must be reassuring to have this on when you have been diagnosed or recently had an issue.