Mission Statement - De-Spinning the Pro-Taser Propaganda

Yeah right, 'Excited Delirium' my ass...


The primary purpose of this blog is to provide an outlet for my observations and analysis about tasers, taser "associated" deaths, and the behaviour exhibited by the management, employees and minions of Taser International. In general, everything is linked back to external sources, often via previous posts on the same topic, so that readers can fact-check to their heart's content. This blog was started in late-2007 when Canadians were enraged by the taser death of Robert Dziekanski and four others in a short three month period. The cocky attitude exhibited by the Taser International spokespuppet, and his preposterous proposal that Mr. Dziekanski coincidentally died of "excited delirium" at the time of his taser-death, led me to choose the blog name I did and provides my motivation. I have zero financial ties to this issue.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Paper: Taser-Induced Myocardial Capture

Several posts back I'd mentioned that medical researchers had pulled some very interesting data out of the 'black box' recorder contained within a pacemaker.

Here is the first part of the paper.

Taser-Induced Rapid Ventricular Myocardial Capture Demonstrated by Pacemaker Intracardiac Electrograms


From the Keck School of Medicine, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, California; and ∗Medtronic Inc., Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA

Taser-Induced Myocardial Capture

Introduction: A Taser weapon is designed to incapacitate violent individuals by causing temporary neuromuscular paralysis due to current application. We report the first case of a Taser application in a person with a dual-chamber pacemaker demonstrating evidence of Taser-induced myocardial capture.

Methods and Results: Device interrogation was performed in a 53-year-old man with a dual-chamber pacemaker who had received a Taser shot consisting of two barbs delivered simultaneously. Assessment of pacemaker function after Taser application demonstrated normal sensing, pacing thresholds, and lead impedances. Stored event data revealed two high ventricular rate episodes corresponding to the exact time of the Taser application.

Conclusions: This report describes the first human case of ventricular myocardial capture at a rapid rate resulting from a Taser application. This raises the issue as to whether conducted energy devices can cause primary myocardial capture or capture only in association with cardiac devices providing a preferential pathway of conduction to the myocardium.

Let's review:

1) Not a swine model, but an actual human.
2) Data appears to offer no escape.
3) The only thing left is if the pacemaker wiring contributed to the issue (*).

(* The same issue that Taser previously pretended to not understand.)

Here are some additional extracts from the paper:

Kornblum et al. performed autopsies in 16 individual deaths associated with Taser applications. (ref 12) They identified one directly attributable to Taser application. (ref 12) In an editorial, Allen, a medical examiner involved with several of the death investigations, commented that up to nine causes of death were associated with Taser. (ref 13)

12. Kornblum RN, Reddy SK: Effects of the Taser in fatalities involving police confrontation. J Forensic Sci 1991;36:434-438.
13. Allen TB: Discussion of effects of the Taser in fatalities involving police confrontation. J Forensic Sci 1992;37:956-958.

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