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Authors Wu JY, Sun H, O'Rourke AP, Huebner S, Rahko PS, Will JA, Webster JG
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Journal IEEE Trans Biomed Eng Volume: 54 Issue: 3 Pages: 503-8
Publish Date 2007 Mar
PubMed ID 17355063

Electromuscular incapacitating devices (EMDs), such as Tasers, deliver high current, short duration pulses that cause muscular contractions and temporarily incapacitate the human subject. Some reports suggest that EMDs can kill. To help answer the question, “Can the EMD directly cause ventricular fibrillation (VF)?”, ten tests were conducted to measure the dart-to-heart distance that causes VF in anesthetized pigs [mass = 64 kg +/- 6.67 standard deviation (SD)] for the most common X26 Taser. The dart-to-heart distance that caused VF was 17 mm +/- 6.48 (SD) for the first VF event and 13.7 mm +/- 6.79 (SD) for the average of the successive VF events. The result shows that when the stimulation dart is close enough to the heart, X26 Taser current will directly trigger VF in pigs. Echocardiography of erect humans shows skin-to-heart distances from 10 to 57 mm (dart-to-heart distances of 1-48 mm). These results suggest that the probability of a dart on the body landing in 1 cm2 over the ventricle and causing VF is 0.000172. Copyright © 2017 The Board of Regents of the University of Wisconsin System