Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Taser now linked to sudden cardiac arrest; taser victims have died for years but Taser International doesn't seem to care

Today was a fascinating day. For the first time we were able to hear the expert knowledge of two heart specialists, information I've NEVER heard from any of Canada's nominated taser-Nazis. Here's what the heart specialists had to say:

VANCOUVER — Two heart specialists told an inquiry into the use of Tasers on Tuesday that a jolt from the weapons can "almost certainly" cause heart problems and possibly even sudden cardiac arrest.

Gee wiz, possible sudden cardiac arrest, that sounds kind of serious, doesn't it? Wikipedia thinks so:

The term sudden cardiac death refers to natural death from cardiac causes, heralded by abrupt loss of consciousness within one hour of the onset of acute symptoms.

But fortunately all police officers were aware of the possibilty of “sudden cardiac arrest”, right?

And a senior police officer who trains others on how to use the Taser said his training from the company that manufactures the device suggests the Taser does not lead to cardiac arrest.

I suppose that's a NO.

More medical experts had more troubling news for police officers trainees:

Dr. Michael Janusz, a heart surgeon and professor of surgery at the University of British Columbia, told the inquiry that based on his study of available literature on Taser use, "almost all physicians would conclude that Tasers can induce ventricular fibrillation."

Ventricular fibrillation? What the heck is that? Wikipedia!!!

Ventricular fibrillation (V-fib or VF) is a condition in which there is uncoordinated contraction of the cardiac muscle of the ventricles in the heart, making them tremble rather than contract properly. Ventricular fibrillation is a medical emergency. If the arrhythmia continues for more than a few seconds, blood circulation will cease, and death will occur in a matter of minutes.

That's serious stuff. Not that Taser seems to care:

Staff Sgt. Joe Spindor, of the New Westminster Police Department, told the inquiry Tuesday his Taser training is based on what he was taught by Taser International. "The information we receive is that it's safe to use on subjects," Spindor said. He said he hadn't heard of Janusz's opinion on possible cardiac arrest. "No. I've actually heard the opposite from Taser in my instruction."

Thank you, Taser, for all of your helpful “education”; leaving out essential warnings about possible cardiac arrest has likely led to several taser deaths, deaths that could have been prevented if proper education would have been in place.

- The Canadian Press: Cardiologist, heart surgeon tell Taser inquiry weapon can cause cardiac arrest
- Wikipedia: Sudden Cardiac Arrest
- Wikipedia: Ventricular Fibrillation


Excited-Delirium.com said...

You've made the connection that should (in an ideal world) lead to Taser being successfully sued into bankruptcy. And then chase down the management and directors (Smiths, Kroll, etc.) and sue them into bankruptcy as well.

See my blog:


Eric said...

Yes, it should. We'll see.

DET said...

Wow. I've been working with St. Jude Medical on their site www.insidecardiacarrest.com lately, so I've been hearing a lot about sudden cardiac arrest. About 900 people in the U.S. are struck by this condition each day; we don't need tasers adding to the problem!

And, once SCA hits, there isn't much that can be done. CPR or a defibrillator need to be used immediately for the person to survive. Maybe taser carriers should be required to take CPR classes!

Post a Comment