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Europace. 2007 Jul;9(7):551-6. Epub 2007 May 9.

Do electrical stun guns (TASER-X26) affect the functional integrity of implantable pacemakers and defibrillators?

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Mid America Cardiology at the University of Kansas Hospital, Kansas City, KS, USA.



High voltage electric current can adversely affect pacemakers (PM) and implantable cardioverter-defibrillator (ICD). The standard shock from an electrical stun gun (TASER- X26, TASER International, Scottsdale, AZ) consists of a 5-s long application of high voltage, low current pulses at 19 pulses per second. Its effect on the functional integrity of PM and ICDs is unknown.


We tested the functional integrity of nine PMs and seven ICDs in a swine model after a standard stun gun shock. A transvenous, dual coil, bi-polar ICD lead (St Jude-SP01) and a PM lead were placed in the right ventricular (RV) apex and connected to pulse generators buried in the pre-pectoral pocket. The two darts were placed at the sternal notch (SN) and apex of the heart bracketing the device pocket. Standard neuromuscular incapacitating (NMI) discharges were delivered. Functional parameters of the devices and leads were checked before and after the shocks. The mean pacing thresholds, sensing thresholds, pacing impedances, and defibrillation coil impedances of the ICD lead were similar before and after the shocks. Similarly, pacing thresholds, sensing thresholds, and impedances of the PM lead were not significantly different before and after the shocks. No significant change was noted in battery voltage and projected longevity. Implantable cardioverter-defibrillator generators detected the NMI impulses at a mean cycle length of 176 +/- 20 ms with detection to charge time of 5.9 +/- 1.5 s. Shock delivery was aborted in all tests as tachycardia detection abruptly terminated at the end of the 5 s NMI application. None of the devices exhibited power on reset (POR), elective replacement indicator (ERI), or noise mode behaviour after the shock.


Pacemakers and ICD generators and leads functions were not affected by the tested standard 5 s stun gun shocks.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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