Mission Statement - De-Spinning the Pro-Taser Propaganda

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

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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.

Saturday, April 4, 2009

"Stress association with Taser death"

CMAJ eLetter from Hugh H. Macartney, dated 25 March 2008. [LINK]

Those who manufacture and use Tasers claim no death has occurred solely due to their use and where no other cause such as drug and alcohol is involved fatal outcome is due solely to "excited delirium".

In 1953 as a Research Fellow at the University of B.C. I built a defibrillator for clinical and experimental use with open chest. In anaesthetised dogs it was shown that a minute current applied directly to either atria or ventricles induced fibrillation which could be reversed with application of a larger current.

When an infusion of epinephrine was given a much smaller shock would initiate fibrillation which required a very much larger current to reverse and frequently spontaneous refibrillation occurred. Under extreme stress endogenous levels of epinephrine are high and it is possible that a Taser shock could induce fatal ventricular fibrillation.

At autopsy there would be no specific findings
[the Taser 'Proof Issue'] so that some other, possibly incorrect, cause would be suggested. Further research is necessary and I doubt we have seen the last death resulting from Taser torture.

[updated - post split]

Further update - the smallness of the taser shock depends upon what sort of measurement technique is used. The X26 taser is only 2mA if the average is used. But it is about 150mA when RMS measurement techniques are used. Where the EFFECTIVE current lies along this axis is an open question, but it's wishful thinking to place the EFFECTIVE current at the lowest end of the possible 2 to 150 mA range. I've got some potentially killer information on this issue - see [LINK].

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