Wearable cardioverter defibrillator: a life vest till the life boat (ICD) arrives

Indian Heart J. Jan-Feb 2014;66(1):68-72. doi: 10.1016/j.ihj.2013.12.050. Epub 2014 Jan 8.


It is well established that implantable cardioverter defibrillator (ICD) is a life saving device ensuring protection against life threatening ventricular arrhythmias. But there are certain situations like a recent myocardial infarction where the standard guidelines do not recommend the implantation of an ICD while the patient can still be at a risk of demise due to a life threatening ventricular arrhythmia. There could also be a temporary indication for protection while explanting an infected ICD system. The wearable cardioverter defibrillator (WCD) is a device which comes to the rescue in such situations. In this brief review, we discuss the historical aspects of the development of a WCD, technical aspects as well as the clinical trial data and real world scenario of its use.

Keywords: Cardioversion; Death; Defibrillation; Sudden; Tachyarrhythmias.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Death, Sudden, Cardiac / etiology
  • Death, Sudden, Cardiac / prevention & control*
  • Defibrillators*
  • Defibrillators, Implantable
  • Electric Countershock / instrumentation*
  • Electric Countershock / methods
  • Emergencies
  • Equipment Design
  • Equipment Safety
  • Humans
  • Patient Safety
  • Prognosis
  • Survival Rate
  • Tachycardia, Ventricular / complications
  • Tachycardia, Ventricular / diagnosis*
  • Tachycardia, Ventricular / therapy*
  • Treatment Outcome