Wearable cardiac defibrillator

Case contributed by Dr Ria Gwalani


Evaluation of chest congestion in a patient wearing cardiac defibrillator

Patient Data

Age: 30 years
Gender: Female

1. The examination is limited secondary to the extensive artifact overlying the chest seen due to the patient wearing a 'Life Vest.

2.The heart is enlarged. There is mild pulmonary vascular congestion.

3. There is airspace disease in the right mid lung zone.

4. No definite indwelling lines or tubes are seen.

Case Discussion

Life Vest is a wearable electronic device created by Zoll and is to be worn outside the body. Its 2 main components are a garment and a monitor. The garment is lightweight and is to be worn beneath the article of clothing. It consists of electrodes used for taking ECG. The monitor is worn around the waist or from a shoulder strap. It reads the patient's ECG endlessly with the assistance of electrodes within the garment.

This device helps diagnose severe arrhythmias. If a severe rhythm is detected, the device alerts the patient before delivering a shock. If the patient becomes unconscious, the device releases a Blue gel over the therapy electrodes and delivers an electrical shock to revive normal rhythm.


Disclosure: I, Dr Ria Gwalani, have no actual or potential ethical or financial conflict of interest in relation to this device. This case is not intended to be a personal endorsement or recommendation of this product.


This case was submitted with supervision and input from:

Soni C. Chawla, M.D.
Associate Professor
Department of Radiological Sciences
David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA
Olive View - UCLA Medical Center

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