Physiologic effects of a new-generation conducted electrical weapon on human volunteers

Jeffrey D Ho, Donald M. Dawes, Richard J. Chang, Rebecca S. Nelson, James R Miner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

15 Scopus citations

Abstract

Background Conducted electrical weapons (CEWs) are used by law enforcement to restrain or repel potentially violent persons. The TASER X2 CEW is a next-generation device with new technology, including new electrical waveform and output specifications. It has not previously been studied in humans. Objective The objective of this study was to evaluate the human physiologic effect of a new-generation CEW. Methods This was a prospective, observational human study. Volunteers received a 10-s exposure via deployed probes from an X2 CEW in the abdomen and upper thigh. Measured data included vital signs; 12-lead electrocardiograms; and blood serum biomarkers before, immediately after, and 24 h post exposure. Biomarkers measured included pH, lactate, potassium, creatine kinase (CK), and troponin-I. Real-time spirometry and echocardiography were performed before, during, and after the exposure. Results Ten volunteers completed the study. There were no important changes in vital signs or potassium. Median increase in lactate as a consequence of the exposure was 1.2 mg/dL (range 0.6-2.8 mg/dL). Median change in pH was -0.031 (range -0.011 to -0.067). No subject had a positive troponin. Median change in CK at 24 h was 313 ng/mL (range -40 to 3418 ng/mL). There was no evidence of respiratory impairment. Baseline median minute ventilation was 14.2 L/min, increased to 21.6 L/min intra-exposure (p = 0.05), and remained elevated at 21.6 L/min post exposure (p = 0.01). Conclusions There was no evidence of dangerous physiology found in the measured parameters. The physiologic effects of the X2 CEW are similar to older-generation CEWs. We encourage further study to validate these results.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)428-435
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Emergency Medicine
Volume46
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 1 2014

Keywords

  • TASER
  • conducted electrical weapon
  • electronic control device
  • human physiology

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