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Journal Article

Citation

Panescu D, Kroll MW, Stratbucker RA. Conf. Proc. IEEE Eng. Med. Biol. Soc. 2008; 2008: 5671-5674.

Affiliation

St. Jude Medical, Sunnyvale, CA, USA.

Copyright

(Copyright © 2008, IEEE (Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers))

DOI

10.1109/IEMBS.2008.4650501

PMID

19164004

Abstract

Introduction: TASER devices deliver electrical pulses that temporarily incapacitate suspects. This study analyzes the theoretical possibility of ventricular fibrillation (VF) induction by TASER currents. Methods and Results: Using finite element models (FEM), the results found that the skin, fat and anisotropic skeletal muscle layers attenuated a large portion of TASER currents, allowing just a fractional amount to penetrate transversally into deeper layers of tissue. The TASER current density reached 91 mA/cm(2), the threshold required to induce VF, at less than 14.7 mm away from the skin surface. This distance is significantly lower than the average skin-heart distance of 35 mm, as measured in subjects with a body-mass index (BMI) matched to that of typical in-custody suspects. The theoretical probability of inducing VF is significantly lower than 0.0000008, or 1:1,270,000. By comparison, the standard for basic safety and essential performance of medical electrical equipment, EN 60601-1, accepts as satisfactory a VF induction probability of 0.002, or 1:500. Conclusion: The results indicated that TASER devices, while not risk free, have a very low cardiac risk profile when used for suspect temporary incapacitation.


Language: en

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