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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.

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Department of Emergency Medicine, Wake Forest University School of Medicine, Winston Salem, NC, USA. Electronic address:
Department of Emergency Medicine, Wake Forest University School of Medicine, Winston Salem, NC, USA.
Tactical Medics International, Jacksonville Beach, FL, USA.



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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


Biomonitor; CEW; ECG; EKG; TASER

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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