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Am J Emerg Med. 2008 Jan;26(1):1-4.

Twelve-lead electrocardiogram monitoring of subjects before and after voluntary exposure to the Taser X26.

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Department of Emergency Medicine, University of California, San Diego Medical Center, San Diego, CA 92103, USA.



The Taser (Taser International, Scottsdale, Ariz) uses high-voltage electricity to incapacitate subjects. We sought to evaluate cardiac rhythm changes during deployment of the Taser on healthy volunteers.


This prospective study was performed on 32 healthy volunteer subjects receiving a Taser X26 discharge. The subjects had baseline 12-lead electrocardiogram (ECG) monitoring performed immediately before and within 1 minute after the Taser discharge. Changes in cardiac rhythm, morphology, and interval duration were evaluated. Descriptive statistics and paired-sample t test comparisons are reported.


All 32 subjects had an interpretable 12-lead ECG obtained before and after the Taser activation, although 1 subject's post-PR interval could not be determined. The mean age and body mass index were 33 years and 26.5 kg/m2, respectively. Overall, there was a significant increase in heart rate (2.4; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.0-4.9) and a decrease in PR interval (-6.5; 95% CI, -9.7 to -3.3). When stratified by sex, only the PR interval in men significantly decreased (-5.9; 95% CI, -9.2 to -2.5). There were significant changes in heart rate (4.0; 95% CI, 1.3-6.7), PR interval (-6.0; 95% CI, -11.3 to -0.7), and QT interval (-18.8; 95% CI, -33.2 to -4.3) among those with a normal body mass index, and in PR interval among those who were overweight/obese (-6.7; 95% CI, -10.8 to -2.5). None of the statistically significant differences between ECG measures were clinically relevant.


There were no cardiac dysrhythmia and interval or morphology changes in subjects who received a Taser discharge based on a 12-lead ECG performed immediately before and within 1 minute after a Taser activation.

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