LifeVest shocks heart patients back to life - WTVM.com-Columbus, GA News Weather & Sports

LifeVest shocks heart patients back to life

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COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) -

Those who suffer from sudden cardiac arrest could now be one snap closer to a life-saving treatment that can be worn to instantly restart an idle heart.

The Zoll LifeVest has been bridging the gap for sufferers of chronic heart failure for 10 years, carrying them from death by sudden cardiac arrest to a more permanent life saving solution.

LifeVest Territory Sales Manager Clay Williams explains, "Their heart is sick. It's sick to the point where it's not pumping the blood effectively through the body, and they're at risk for cardiac arrest.

Once this is snapped directly to the skin, and plugged in, this device will monitor the patient's heart 24 hours a day. In the event of a sudden cardiac arrest, it will deliver a shock of a 150 Joules.

It's a shock that saved the life of one Columbus Cardiology patient in her 80's just a few months ago.

"This is a lady who had a bad cardiomyopathy, which is essentially a weakened muscle," says Columbus Cardiology Associates' Dr. William Macheski.

Macheski says each LifeVest patient is prescribed the vest for 90 days, and then evaluated before further actions are taken. It's an option that changed this patient's life.

He adds, "At the three month period when we went back to repeat her Echo, she decided that she wanted to pursue an internal defibrillator. And actually the day before she was scheduled for the defibrillator, the vest went off, she got shocked, she got shocked back into regular rhythm and it saved her life."

Macheski says each device is programmed for the individual, and is set to alert if the heart rate surpasses the range of 160 and 180, depending on the person. This provides what Macheski calls an insurance policy for the physician and the patient.

"The vest in between has helped with that gap in between to save the lives of patients," Macheski assures.

The Zoll LifeVest is available for lease through most insurance policies, as long as the patient's heart pumps 35 percent or less of the blood out, and has suffered at least a minor heart failure. For more information about the LifeVest, visit http://lifevest.zoll.com/.

Copyright 2014 WTVM. All rights reserved.

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