Twelve-lead electrocardiogram monitoring of subjects before and after voluntary exposure to the Taser X26


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Abstract

ObjectivesThe Taser (Taser International, Scottsdale, Ariz) uses high-voltage electricity to incapacitate subjects. We sought to evaluate cardiac rhythm changes during deployment of the Taser on healthy volunteers.MethodsThis prospective study was performed on 32 healthy volunteer subjects receiving a Taser X26 discharge. The subjects had baseline 12-lead electrocardiogram (ECG) monitoring performed immediately before and within 1 minute after the Taser discharge. Changes in cardiac rhythm, morphology, and interval duration were evaluated. Descriptive statistics and paired-sample t test comparisons are reported.ResultsAll 32 subjects had an interpretable 12-lead ECG obtained before and after the Taser activation, although 1 subject's post–PR interval could not be determined. The mean age and body mass index were 33 years and 26.5 kg/m2, respectively. Overall, there was a significant increase in heart rate (2.4; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.0–4.9) and a decrease in PR interval (−6.5; 95% CI, −9.7 to −3.3). When stratified by sex, only the PR interval in men significantly decreased (−5.9; 95% CI, −9.2 to −2.5). There were significant changes in heart rate (4.0; 95% CI, 1.3–6.7), PR interval (−6.0; 95% CI, −11.3 to −0.7), and QT interval (−18.8; 95% CI, −33.2 to −4.3) among those with a normal body mass index, and in PR interval among those who were overweight/obese (−6.7; 95% CI, −10.8 to −2.5). None of the statistically significant differences between ECG measures were clinically relevant.ConclusionsThere were no cardiac dysrhythmia and interval or morphology changes in subjects who received a Taser discharge based on a 12-lead ECG performed immediately before and within 1 minute after a Taser activation.

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