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J Forensic Leg Med. 2016 Oct;43:48-52. doi: 10.1016/j.jflm.2016.07.003. Epub 2016 Jul 5.

A TASER conducted electrical weapon with cardiac biomonitoring capability: Proof of concept and initial human trial.

Author information

1
Department of Emergency Medicine, Wake Forest University School of Medicine, Winston Salem, NC, USA. Electronic address: jstopyra@wakehealth.edu.
2
Department of Emergency Medicine, Wake Forest University School of Medicine, Winston Salem, NC, USA.
3
Tactical Medics International, Jacksonville Beach, FL, USA.

Abstract

INTRODUCTION:

Despite research demonstrating the overall safety of Conducted Electrical Weapons (CEWs), commonly known by the brand name TASER(®), concerns remain regarding cardiac safety. The addition of cardiac biomonitoring capability to a CEW could prove useful and even lifesaving in the rare event of a medical crisis by detecting and analyzing cardiac rhythms during the period immediately after CEW discharge.

OBJECTIVE:

To combine an electrocardiogram (ECG) device with a CEW to detect and store ECG signals while still allowing the CEW to perform its primary function of delivering an incapacitating electrical discharge.

METHODS:

This work was performed in three phases. In Phase 1 standard law enforcement issue CEW cartridges were modified to demonstrate transmission of ECG signals. In Phase 2, a miniaturized ECG recorder was combined with a standard issue CEW and tested. In Phase 3, a prototype CEW with on-board cardiac biomonitoring was tested on human volunteers to assess its ability to perform its primary function of electrical incapacitation.

RESULTS:

Bench testing demonstrated that slightly modified CEW cartridge wires transmitted simulated ECG signals produced by an ECG rhythm generator and from a human volunteer. Ultimately, a modified CEW incorporating ECG monitoring successfully delivered incapacitating current to human volunteers and successfully recorded ECG signals from subcutaneous CEW probes after firing.

CONCLUSION:

An ECG recording device was successfully incorporated into a standard issue CEW without impeding the functioning of the device. This serves as proof-of-concept that safety measures such as cardiac biomonitoring can be incorporated into CEWs and possibly other law enforcement devices.

KEYWORDS:

Biomonitor; CEW; ECG; EKG; TASER

PMID:
27448029
DOI:
10.1016/j.jflm.2016.07.003
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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