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.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

'1.4%' death rate vs. "Safer than Tylenol"

The Province (May 20, 2008) - ...Dr. Michael Janusz, a heart surgeon at Vancouver General Hospital and UBC told the Braidwood Inquiry into Taser use Tuesday that "Tasers almost certainly can cause cardiac arrest in humans, particularly in people with underlying heart disease." Janusz told retired judge Tom Braidwood that the risk of dying after being Tasered is similar to the chances of dying after major heart surgery. Janusz quoted San Francisco cardiologist Dr. Zian Tseng's findings of about "1.4 per cent mortality for individuals subdued by police using a taser... (which) is similar to the mortality risk of a coronary artery bypass operation." [LINK]

Note - 'subdued by police using a taser' is much different than those FAKE demonstrations and training sessions. The clever propaganda ploy of denominator washing is bypassed by using this inherently real-world definition of the included data.

This "1.4%" is roughly in the same single-digit range as I had guesstimated based on the 2007 British Columbia statistics. I wrote: Result: 1 or 2 deaths divided by roughly 25 full-on X26 deployments = about a 6% death rate Might be 1% (maybe). Might be 10% (maybe). Might be a bit higher. Might be a bit lower. [LINK]

My estimate quoted just above was for full-on X26 taserings across the chest. The 1.4% risk of death appears to be for something less specific (possibly less dangerous). If anyone has any further details about this 1.4% death rate, please pass along by e-mail (see right hand column) or by comment.

Remember when Kroll stated that the taser was "Safer than Tylenol"? Well, he was wrong for thinking it, and certainly wrong for saying it.

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