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Physiological Effects of a Conducted Electrical Weapon on Human Subjects

NCJ Number
Date Published
January 2021
9 pages
This study examined the effects of a single Taser exposure on measures of physiological stress in 32 healthy individuals.
The study found that a 5-second exposure of a Taser X26 to healthy law enforcement personnel did not result in clinically significant changes in physiological stress. One minute after exposure to the Taser, minute ventilation increase from a mean of 16 to 29 L/min; tidal volume increased from 0.9 to 1.4 L, and respiratory rate increased from 19 to 23 breaths/minute. The measurements all returned to baseline (prior to Taser exposure) at 10 miminute after exposure. A pulse rat of 102 beats/min. and systolic blood pressure of 139 mm Hg were higher before Taser exposure than at any time afterward. Blood lactate increased from 1.4 mmol/L at baseline to 2.8 mmol/L 1 minute after exposure, returning to basline at 30 minutes. All troponin l values were normal, and there were no EKG changes. Ventilation was not interrupted, and there was no hypoxemia or hypercarbia. As part of their police training, 32 healthy law enforcement officers received a Taser electrical discharge for 5 seconds. Measures before and for 60 minutes after an exposure included minute ventilation; tidal volume; respiratory rate; end-tidal PCO2; oxygen saturation, pulse rate; blood pressure; arterialized blood for pH, PO2, PCO2, and lactate; and venous blood for bicarbonate and electrolytes. troponin l was measured at 6 hours. Data were analyzed with a repeated-measures ANOVA and paired t tests. 3 tables, 3 figures, and 16 references
Date Published: January 28, 2021