Tasers May Pose Risks to Heart
The study, published in the journal Circulation, shows that electrical shocks from Tasers, which shoot barbs into the skin may cause abnormal heart rhythms that may lead to cardiac arrest, according to medical experts.
Dr. Douglas P. Zipes, a cardiologist and professor emeritus at Indiana University, analyzed detailed records from the incidents of eight people who went into cardiac arrest after receiving shocks from a Taser X26, according to the New York Times. Seven of the people died and one person survived.
“This is no longer arguable,” said Dr. Byron Lee, a cardiologist and director of the electrophysiology laboratory at the University of California, San Francisco. “This is a scientific fact. The national debate should now center on whether the risk of sudden death with Tasers is low enough to warrant widespread use by law enforcement.”
Some companies that make Tasers, such as Taser International Inc., are no strangers to litigation. Last month, a wrongful death lawsuit against the company led to a multimillion dollar verdict.