Redefining Fast

Timely response is important for all victims of cardiac arrest. Patients who have underlying cardiac disease and are in the hospital for diagnosis, treatment, post-event management, or interventional procedures are at risk of ventricular tachycardia (VT) and/or ventricular fibrillation (VF). Immediate response can mean the difference between neurologically intact survival and something less.

Most of these at-risk patients can be identified; they include those with Class III and Class IV heart failure, STEMI and NSTEMI patients, and those with other arrhythmic risk. Today, these patients are generally managed in the cardiac care unit or other telemetry units, where additional trained staff can respond quickly to an event. According to the American Heart Association Get with The Guidelines registry, member hospitals have achieved a survival rate of 35% in patients in VT/VF.1

Although some hospitals have shown impressive improvement, we can still do better. 

The Hospital Wearable Defibrillator (HWD) utilizes the same detection algorithm and defibrillation waveform as the LifeVest® wearable defibrillator, which is used for patients who are at risk for sudden cardiac death, including post-discharge patients. LifeVest is highly effective at treating VT/VF. The reason: timely intervention. In a typical situation, the entire event, from detecting VT/VF to delivering a treatment shock, occurs in about one minute. When the heart can be returned quickly to a perfusing rhythm, long-term complications can be minimized.

This type of care will be available to those at-risk in the hospital with the implementation of the ZOLL® Hospital Wearable Defibrillator.

A Minute Matters

Chan and colleagues writing in The New England Journal of Medicine compared data on shockable rhythms and showed that when response exceeded two minutes, survival dropped significantly. Despite strong efforts, patients unfortunately still die of cardiac arrest in hospitals. This is due to the nature of the cardiac arrests and our physical ability to respond immediately given traditional detection and response systems. Now there is a new tool to help address this problem.

Automatic Detection, Immediate Treatment

With each minute that passes after the start of cardiac arrest, the chances of survival decrease by 10%8 — any delay to defibrillation increases the likelihood of dying or the likelihood of surviving with complications. Automatic detection and immediate treatment address the most critical factor for survival from the cardiac arrest in these patients — timely defibrillation. Implementation of the HWD can help save a life.

The HWD helps the care team manage at-risk patients by:

1Peberdy MA, et al. Resuscitation. 2003; 58:297–298.
2Larsen MP, et al. Ann EmergMed. 1993;22:1652–58.