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Taser X26 Absence of Electrocardiographic Effects Minnesota

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Absence Of Electrocardiographic Effects
Following Taser® Device Application In Human Volunteers

Jeffrey D. Ho, MD • Richard M. Luceri, MD • Dhanunjaya R. Lakireddy, MD • Donald M. Dawes, MD
Hennepin County Medical Center, Minneapolis, MN • Holy Cross Hospital, Ft. Lauderdale, FL • Cleveland Clinic and Hospital, Cleveland, OH • Lompoc District Hospital, Lompoc, CA

The TASER X26 device is a conducted electrical weapon. It is used
by law enforcement for control of agitated subjects by causing pain
and/or neuromuscular incapacitation.
There has been significant recent scrutiny of the TASER and its
potential role in the death of subjects who have died while in
custody. While there are numerous cases every year of in-custody
deaths when no TASER has been applied, criticism of this device has
occurred and a questionable causal relationship has been
One hypothesis is that the TASER may induce death from cardiac
dysfunction, arrhythmia or delayed myocardial damage. We sought
to determine if human exposure to a standard TASER device causes
any detectable change in serial 12-lead electrocardiograms.

EKG Immediately Prior to X26 TASER Application

32 volunteer subjects agreed to participate in the study. IRB
approval was received prior to starting the project. After obtaining
informed consent, all subjects had a 5-second TASER application
with deployed probes from a distance of approximately 7 feet using
a standard TASER X26 device.
Serial electrocardiograms were performed on all subjects
immediately before and immediately after TASER exposure and
again at 16 and 24 hours after exposure. The electrocardiograms
were interpreted by a blinded cardiologist. Results were tabulated
for review.

EKG Immediately Fallowing TASER X26 Application

At baseline 30/32 EKGs were interpreted as normal. The two
abnormal EKGs (one was left ventricular hypertrophy and one
was a sinus pause) remained unchanged at all four time points.
No other EKG abnormalities were noted and no changes from
baseline were detected.

A 5-second TASER X26 application did not cause a detectable
change in the 12-lead electrocardiograms of this sampled
Theories of TASER induced dysrhythmic death or myocardial
damage are not supported by our findings.
Obtaining EKG information from a volunteer

Author receiving an X26 TASER application

TASER X26 Device