The use of tasers by police has been a controversial study in user neglect over the last several years and now a peer-reviewed study is claiming that tasers can in fact lead to cardiac arrest and in some cases death.
The study was published by the American Heart Association’s premier journal Circulation on Monday and it found eight cases of death involving the TASER X26 ECD.
According to Dr. Douglas Zipes, of Indiana University’s Krannert Institute of Cardiology the shock from a taser “can cause cardiac electric capture and provoke cardiac arrest” when a rapid heart rate and uncontrolled, fluttering contractions are occurring.
In the meantime Taser International CEO Steve Tuttle sidestepped the issue, noting:
“There have been 3 million uses of Taser device uses worldwide, with this case series reporting eight of concern. This article does not support a cause-effect association and fails to accurately evaluate the risks versus the benefits of the thousands of lives saved by police with Taser devices.”
The particular device in question sends 50,000 volts through a persons body, immobilizing them for a short period of time, the taser is also able to be fired from up to 35 feet away with wired that pierce a person’s skin.
Critics in the meantime argue that even one death makes the company’s “non-lethal” claims incorrect.
In another study Amnesty International claims that 500 laser related deaths have been reported since 2001 however only a few dozen cases were ruled Taser deaths by coroners.
Advocates of Taser user point to the tasers being definitely more “non-lethal” than the use of firearms when immobilizing criminals.