Physiological effects of a conducted electrical weapon on human subjects

Gary M Vilke, Christian M Sloane, Katie D Bouton, Fred W Kolkhorst, Saul D Levine, Tom S Neuman, Edward M Castillo, Theodore C Chan
Annals of Emergency Medicine 2007, 50 (5): 569-75

STUDY OBJECTIVE: Sudden death after a conducted electrical weapon exposure has not been well studied. We examine the effects of a single Taser exposure on markers of physiologic stress in healthy humans.

METHODS: This is a prospective trial investigating the effects of a single Taser exposure. As part of their police training, 32 healthy law enforcement officers received a 5-second Taser electrical discharge. Measures before and for 60 minutes after an exposure included minute ventilation; tidal volume; respiratory rate (RR); end-tidal PCO2; oxygen saturation, pulse rate; blood pressure (systolic blood pressure/diastolic blood pressure); arterialized blood for pH, PO2, PCO2, and lactate; and venous blood for bicarbonate and electrolytes. Troponin I was measured at 6 hours. Data were analyzed using a repeated-measures ANOVA and paired t tests.

RESULTS: At 1 minute postexposure, minute ventilation increased from a mean of 16 to 29 L/minute, tidal volume increased from 0.9 to 1.4 L, and RR increased from 19 to 23 breaths/min, all returning to baseline at 10 min. Pulse rate of 102 beats/min and systolic blood pressure of 139 mm Hg were higher before Taser exposure than at anytime afterward. Blood lactate increased from 1.4 mmol/L at baseline to 2.8 mmol/L at 1 minute, returning to baseline at 30 minutes. pH And bicarbonate decreased, respectively, by 0.03 and 1.2 mEq/L at 1 minute, returning to baseline at 30 minutes. All troponin I values were normal and there were no EKG changes. Ventilation was not interrupted, and there was no hypoxemia or hypercarbia.

CONCLUSION: A 5-second exposure of a Taser X26 to healthy law enforcement personnel does not result in clinically significant changes of physiologic stress.

Full Text Links

Find Full Text Links for this Article


You are not logged in. Sign Up or Log In to join the discussion.

Related Papers

Remove bar
Read by QxMD icon Read

Save your favorite articles in one place with a free QxMD account.


Search Tips

Use Boolean operators: AND/OR

diabetic AND foot
diabetes OR diabetic

Exclude a word using the 'minus' sign

Virchow -triad

Use Parentheses

water AND (cup OR glass)

Add an asterisk (*) at end of a word to include word stems

Neuro* will search for Neurology, Neuroscientist, Neurological, and so on

Use quotes to search for an exact phrase

"primary prevention of cancer"
(heart or cardiac or cardio*) AND arrest -"American Heart Association"