Acute effects of TASER X26 discharges in a swine model

The Journal of Trauma
Andrew J DennisRoxanne Roberts

Abstract

Very little objective laboratory data are available describing the physiologic effects of stun guns or electromuscular incapacitation devices (EIDs). Unfortunately, there have been several hundred in-custody deaths, which have been temporally associated with the deployment of these devices. Most of the deaths have been attributed to specific cardiac and metabolic effects. We hypothesized that prolonged EID exposure in a model animal system would induce clinically significant metabolic acidosis and cardiovascular disturbances. Using an Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee-approved protocol, 11 standard pigs (6 experimentals and 5 sham controls) were anesthetized with ketamine and xylazine. The experimentals were exposed to two 40-second discharges from an EID (TASER X26, TASER Intl., Scottsdale, AZ) across the torso. Electrocardiograms, blood pressure, troponin I, blood gases, and electrolyte levels were obtained pre-exposure and at 5, 15, 30, and 60 minutes and 24, 48, and 72 hours postdischarge. p values <0.05 were considered significant. Two deaths were observed immediately after TASER exposure from acute onset ventricular fibrillation (VF). In surviving animals, heart rate was significantly increased and significant h...Continue Reading

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