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.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

How does Taser International define "extremely low"?

Stun gun maker Taser International has released studies saying a shot to the chest has an "extremely low" risk of causing a heart attack. [LINK]

So, anyone else notice that Taser International is extremely reluctant to put a numerical value on exactly what they mean by the phrase "extremely low"?

When I've had access to limited data sets that allow me to divide the taser-associated death rate by the estimated rate of taser darts hitting chest for a given region I consistently get values in the low end of single digits - about 3% as a rough order of magnitude. [LINK] Keep in mind that this is after all denominator washing [LINK] has been removed leaving only an estimated rate of taser chest hits. [LINK]

Taser International tries to leave the impression that the risk is always so low that it has never happened.

The "Cardiac Safety" page on their website makes outrageous claims, and compares being hit with a taser to being hit with a ping pong ball. Kroll makes the false claim that unlimited duration taser hits are no more dangerous than a single short duration hit. This claims is clearly false as indicated by the real world results as reviewed by Prof. Savard. He noted a linear proportionality between exposure time and risk of death [LINK]. See also [LINK].

I've noticed that the news reports of young healthy folks being tasered and more-or-less immediately begining the process of dying seems to have a high rate of chest hits. [LINK]

There's another 'smoking gun' that we're working on. We are still working on it, and we hope that we can bring it to you in the coming weeks.

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