Abstract 645: Effect of Stun Gun Discharges on Pacemaker Function
Introduction: Tasers are electronic controlled devices used by law enforcement to temporarily incapacitate individuals. They generate high voltage, low current repetitive pulsed waveforms which may adversely affect implanted pacemakers.
Methods: A single chamber Medtronic bipolar lead was placed under fluoroscopic guidance in the RV apex of 4 pigs and connected to an Adapta generator placed in pre-pectoral pocket. After anesthesia, multiple stun gun shocks were fired every 3 minutes with Taser X-26, Taser M-26 and Stinger S-200. Intracardiac electrograms were continuously recorded during the taser discharges by placing the wand over the pacemaker pocket.
Results: The taser did not produce any effects on the native rhythm which is easily seen underlying the distinctive noise signature from the taser shock (Fig-1A⇓). The Adapta device used for this testing has atrial tachycardia detection capability, explaining the atrial sense markers appearing with the taser noise. Figure 1B⇓ was recorded when the pig was 100% paced and the stun gun fired. The reversion pacing, observed in this strip, is functionally asynchronous from the native rhythm the entire time that the taser noise is present and goes away as soon as the taser noise is removed.
Conclusions: Stun Gun discharges,
were recognized by the pulse generator and sensed as either high rate atrial or ventricular activity depending on which vector is more in line with the electric field created by the two taser electrodes,
did not affect the native rhythm,
did not conduct down the lead systems to cause any extra systoles,
and had no effect on paced rhythm. The use of these devices appears safe in victims with this type of pulse generator.