A wearable cardioverter defibrillator (WCD or “LifeVest”) is prescribed for patients at risk of sudden cardiac death (SCD). It consists of a garment, an electrode belt, and a monitor. While some defibrillator devices are implanted under the skin, the wearable defibrillator is worn under the clothes, directly against the patient’s skin.

LifeVest is designed to detect a life-threatening rapid heart rhythm and automatically deliver a treatment shock to restore a normal rhythm. The entire event, from detecting a life-threatening rapid heartbeat to automatically delivering a shock, usually takes less than a minute.

Unlike an AED, the WCD does not require the assistance of another person or emergency personnel for it to work. It can protect patients even when they are alone.

With a WCD, patients can continue to do many of the things they enjoy, like spending time with family and friends, without worrying about risk of SCD. The only time a patient should remove their LifeVest WCD is while taking a short shower or bath. This should only be done when someone is home with the patient, if possible.

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