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Effect of Oleoresin Capsicum "Pepper" Spray Inhalation on Respiratory Function

NCJ Number
Date Published
January 2002
6 pages
This research performed a randomized, cross-over controlled trial to assess the effect of Oleoresin capsicum (OC) spray inhalation on respiratory function by itself and combined with restraint.
A total of 35 subjects were exposed to OC or placebo spray, followed by 10 minutes of sitting or prone maximal restraint position (PMRP). Spirometry, oximetry, and end-tidal CO2 levels were collected at baseline and throughout the 10 minutes. Data were compared between groups and with predefined normal values. While in the sitting position, OC did not result in any significant changes in mean percent predicted forced vital capacity (%predFEV), percent predicted forced expiratory volume in 1 s (%predFEV1), oxygen, or CO2 levels. In the PMRP, mean %predFVC and %predFEV1 fell 14.4 and 16.5 percent for placebo and 16.2 and 19.1 percent for OC, but were not significantly different by exposure. There was no evidence of hypoxemia or hypercapnia in either group. OC exposure did not result in abnormal spirometry, hypoxemia, or hypoventilation when compared to the placebo in either sitting or PMRP. Limitations of this study are noted. 2 tables, 2 figures, and 30 references

Date Published: January 1, 2002