Newly approved LifeVest defibrillator saves teens life

Jul 22, 2016, 6:55 PM
...

The FDA said the Zoll LifeVest can be used by children back in December. Not long after that, 17-year-old Gisselle Castro came to Phoenix Children’s Hospital with chest pain. Doctors at Children’s said Castro had dilated cardiomyopathy, or heart failure.

Doctor Andrew Papez says Castro’s heart had very limited function.

“Gisselle couldn’t even walk for six minutes. Her heart function was so poor that she became too winded and tired to complete a six minute walk,” Papez said.

He said they found medication that allowed Castro to complete the six minute walk. They decided it would be safe for her to go home if she had the LifeVest in case she went into sudden cardiac arrest.

Papez said the vest works just like an AED that you see at the airport or the gym. He said the only difference is the vest is constantly monitoring Castro’s heart and will apply a shock on its own if the heart gets out of rhythm.

About 11 days after Castro went home from the hospital, she experienced a sudden cardiac arrest. Castro’s mom, Gricelda Quintero, says Castro was in the room with her sister when the incident happened.

“The first thing that came to my mind was she was having a heart attack… Her face started getting purple and then kind of pale. She just looked at me and closed her eyes, and that was it,” Quintero said.

Her mom said after a few seconds Castro came back, and she knew the vest was working.

“A couple seconds later it happened again,” Quintero said. “So she went back and I thought she was gone.” The LifeVest delivered another shock and brought Gisselle back.

According to Papez, the vest shocked Castro a total of four times during the cardiac arrest.

Castro came back to Phoenix Children’s Hospital after the incident, and doctors installed a permanent defibrillator.

“I’m very thankful,” Castro said. “Cause without the vest I literally wouldn’t be here now.”

Even though she doesn’t wear the vest anymore, Castro said she still isn’t a 100 percent. She is currently waiting for a new heart to make sure she doesn’t have another cardiac arrest.

Zool, the makers of the LifeVest, said currently about 500 people in Arizona are wearing the vest. Papez said the vest isn’t a permanent solution. It is just a safety measure to protect against cardiac arrests while they figure out a permanent solution for the patient’s heart condition.

We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Pass it along to the KTAR News team here.

Arizona News

(Musical Instrument Museum/Facebook Photo)...
KTAR.com

Phoenix’s Musical Instrument Museum hosts programs for youth and adults

KTAR's community spotlight this month focuses on Phoenix's Musical Instrument Museum and the classes it offers for the youth and adults.
10 hours ago
A Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine is prepared at a vaccination center in Casablanca, Morocco, Monday, Oct. ...
KTAR.com

In report covering 3 days, Arizona adds 5,660 COVID-19 cases, 174 deaths

In a report covering three days’ worth of data, Arizona health officials on Tuesday added 5,660 cases and 174 deaths to the state’s COVID-19 totals.
10 hours ago
(AP Photo)...
KTAR.com

1 man dead, teen in custody following Phoenix shooting

Police are investigating the death of a man who was shot in Phoenix Monday evening, authorities said.
10 hours ago
Three firefighters received medical treatment for minor injuries after battling a house fire on Oct...
KTAR.com

3 firefighters injured, search for dog continues after Glendale house fire

Three firefighters suffered minor injuries after fighting a house fire in Glendale, authorities said Monday night.
10 hours ago
(AP Photo/Markus Schreiber, file)...
Griselda Zetino

Arizona’s top health official stresses COVID vaccines are still the ‘best protecting device’

The death of Colin Powell is putting a spotlight on breakthrough COVID-19 cases, which Arizona’s top health official said are extremely rare and added the vaccine is still the most effective way to fight off the virus.
10 hours ago
Thomas Rhett, left, and Old Dominion, right (Getty Images Photos)...
Danny Shapiro

Thomas Rhett, Old Dominion to perform at Waste Management Phoenix Open’s 16th hole

There will be a different reason to cheer at the upcoming Waste Management Phoenix Open when two popular country music acts perform on the fairway of the famous 16th hole of the golf course.
10 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

...
Schwartz Laser Eye Center

How to sharpen your vision with elective procedures

Imagine opening your eyes in the morning and being able to see clearly. You wouldn’t have to wait to put on glasses or contacts, and there would be no more blurry showers nor forgetting where your glasses are.
...
PNC Bank

3 cool tips to turn everyday moments into learning experiences for your child

Early brain development has a crucial impact on a child’s ability to learn and succeed in school and life. Research has shown that 90% of a child’s brain is developed by age five.
...
Albertsons

Grill like a pro this fall with tips from Albertsons

As the weather cools and football season kicks off, it’s a great time to fire up the grill and enjoy your favorite outdoor meals.
Newly approved LifeVest defibrillator saves teens life