There are different kinds of cardioverter-defibrillators. Some are surgically implanted in the chest (ICDs). Some are sewn into garments and worn like vests. Some are strapped on like holsters. All monitor heart rhythms and deliver an electric shock to disrupt potentially dangerous arrhythmias. Wearable
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LifeVest; Zoll Medical Corp.
cardioverter-defibrillators (WCD) are used by patients who have a previous condition (like a heart transplant) that makes them ineligible for implantable cardioverters. Mina Chung, MD, of the Miller Family Heart & Vascular Institute compared ICDs and wearable cardioverter-defibrillators. She found that patients are compliant in wearing the vests and that the vests are nearly as effective as the implantable alternative, at least for short-term use. The study, published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology, concludes that the vests are an acceptable short-term alternative or bridge to ICDs.