A new product has been approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), called LifeVest. It’s a wearable defibrillator that helps people who have a risk of sudden cardiac arrest, including children ages 8 and up.LifeVest can especially be useful for children who are affected by this condition, but cannot have a pacemaker implanted due to complications caused by their other medical conditions.
"The pediatric medical community is often forced to use adult devices off-label without appropriate labeling or instructions for use in pediatric patients," said Dr. Vasum Peiris, Chief Medical Officer of pediatrics at the FDA Center for Devices and Radiological Health, in a statement. "Doctors now have important information that may help them safely prescribe this life-saving device to young patients who may benefit from the device."
The product is made by the Zollcompany, and it features an electrode belt that a patient can wear around their chest, and under clothing. The patient will then feel a shock if the device detects an irregular heartbeat or an arrhythmia, thus restoring the rhythm back to normal and saving their lives.
LifeVest has actually been on the market since 2001, however this is the first time the FDA has approved it for children.
In order to be able to wear the vest, a child has to weigh more than 41 pounds. In addition to that, they have to have chest circumference greater than 26 inches. That means that an average 8-year-old child can wear the device. The LifeVest is not the first automatic defibrillator for children; however it is the first one that has continuous heart monitoring.