American Heart Association: Tasers can cause death

CINCINNATI – For the first time, amid continuing controversy and lawsuits over use of Tasers, a scientific, peer-reviewed study released this week shows the electronic stun guns can cause cardiac arrest and death.

But some police agencies continue to stand by their use of the weapons, saying the devices provide officers with a valuable, less-lethal means of subduing unruly suspects.

About 16,000 agencies internationally use Tasers, and officials have credited it with helping to reduce fatal police incidents.

But the American Heart Association’s premier journal,Circulation, published an article online Monday that examined eight cases involving the TASER X26 ECD. Seven of the people died.

Dr. Douglas Zipes, of Indiana University’s Krannert Institute of Cardiology, found that a shock from the Taser “can cause cardiac electric capture and provoke cardiac arrest” as a result of an abnormally rapid heart rate and uncontrolled, fluttering contractions.


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