Conducted Electrical Weapons and Implantable Cardiac Devices
The cardiac effects of conducted electrical weapons (CEWs) have been a subject of debate for several years with concerns regarding their safety, particularly in patients with active disease processes (such as coronary artery disease or cardiomyopathy) or altered physiologic states such as acidosis or hyperadrenergic conditions . In the past 3–5 years, a large body of animal and human data has clearly established the overall safety of these devices. A recent study by McDaniel et al demonstrated that CEWs did not cause cardiac arrhythmias within the limits of the standard electrical discharge in a porcine model . In the same study, multiple applications of the TASER CEW electrical discharge were reported as safe. Another animal study has shown a high safety margin for ventricular fibrillation (VF) induction by CEWs . A recent publication suggested that despite a low probability of VF induction, TASER X26 current application, close to the heart, had a higher rate of myocardial capture and induced VF on one occasion with epinephrine administration . (This possible effect of epinephrine induction facilitation was not statistically significant.) Another recent study involving healthy human volunteers at rest has demonstrated the general cardiac safety of a TASER X26 application and indicated that there was no significant effect on the electrocardiogram over a 24-hour period .
KeywordsVentricular Fibrillation Sick Sinus Syndrome Epinephrine Administration Hyperadrenergic Condition Electrical Artifact
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