What is a Wearable Defibrillator?

wearable defibrillator

A wearable defibrillator is a vest-like device that monitors the heart for dangerous arrhythmias and delivers shocks when needed. It records heart rhythm and information about shocks that are given, and sends it to a doctor or a secure database.

This is a temporary solution for patients who are waiting for an implantable cardioverter defibrillator to be implanted. It also helps prevent sudden cardiac death in patients who have been diagnosed with high risk but cannot be immediately implanted with an ICD.

Indications

A wearable defibrillator, also called a WCD, is a device that delivers low and high energy shocks to your heart as needed. Your doctor may recommend a wearable defibrillator if you have a short-term risk of having a life-threatening arrhythmia, such as atrial fibrillation (AF).

The device is usually worn on the chest and connected to an external unit that detects certain abnormal heart rhythms and delivers shocks as needed. Some devices can detect ventricular fibrillation, the most common type of cardiac arrest.

When a sudden cardiac arrest occurs, your chances of survival decrease by 7-10% every minute you are not treated with defibrillation.

The VEST trial, the first randomized study of wearable cardioverter defibrillators, found that wearing a WCD was effective at increasing survival rates in people at high risk for SCD. This was especially true after myocardial infarction, the most common cause of sudden death in the United States.

Benefits

Defibrillators can provide a layer of protection to people at risk of sudden cardiac arrest. They are noninvasive and easy to use, allowing patients to often return to daily activities with peace of mind knowing they are protected.

A wearable defibrillator, also called a vest defibrillator, is worn under clothes, just below the chest. It includes a band of fabric and shoulder straps that fits around the body and a monitor tied to it, which constantly records your heart’s rhythm.

The device is programmed to detect life-threatening cardiac arrhythmias (heart rhythm disorders) and then deliver one or more shocks to restore a normal heartbeat. It is similar to an implantable cardioverter-defibrillator (ICD), but it does not require surgery and can be used until an ICD can be implanted.

A new study found that wearable defibrillators may lower death rates during the immediate aftermath of a heart attack, but only if they are worn at all times. This is a great improvement over previous research that showed implantation of an ICD doesn’t lower death rates immediately after a heart attack.

Costs

For those who cannot get a permanent implanted defibrillator (ICD), a wearable cardioverter defibrillator (WCD) may be the next best thing. This device consists of a vest with an electrode belt and a monitor that is worn under clothing.

The WCD constantly monitors the heart rhythm and is programmed to shock when a life-threatening arrhythmia is detected. It is a safe and effective way to protect patients from sudden cardiac arrest, thereby reducing their risk of death.

A new study finds that people who have a heart attack and use a wearable defibrillator are 35 percent less likely to die in the first three months after the heart attack. Researchers say that’s a huge reduction in mortality.

Safety

A wearable defibrillator is a life-saving device that can help people who suffer sudden cardiac arrest (SCA) recover from their heart attack. They can be fully automatic or semi-automatic and can help someone recover from SCA until an ambulance arrives.

The defibrillator delivers a shock to the patient’s heart to restore normal cardiac rhythm. They are typically worn around the waist or over a shoulder strap for use during the day.

They are non-invasive and require no special training or medical intervention. They can be used by laypeople, who may also have a Do Not Resuscitate order.

The wearable defibrillator was tested in the VEST trial, which aimed to see if it could lower the risk of death during the immediate aftermath of a heart attack. The results showed that wearing it reduced the chance of death by 74 percent.

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