Abstract 18722: Cardiac Stimulation Occurs with Electronic Control Devices and is Dependent Upon Subject Size, Dart Location, and Device Characteristics
Introduction Electronic control devices (ECDs) are weapons used to incapacitate violent subjects. Subjects have died suddenly after ECD application but since cardiac arrhythmias have been inconsistently observed during ECD application to animals, the cause for death is uncertain. We hypothesized that cardiac stimulation, if apparent during ECD application, could be detected by transesophageal echocardiography (TEE) and, if present, could be related to the model of ECD.
Methods Four Yorkshire pigs were anesthetized, paralyzed with vecuronium, and restrained in a supine position. A GE 6T echo probe was placed in the esophagus to directly visualize left ventricular function. M-mode echocardiography was used to estimate heart rate. Two dart locations, chest and abdomen, were assessed. ECD energy application was delivered from one of 5 commercially available devices (Taser X26, Singer S200 AT, Taser M 26, Taser X-3, and Taser C2, all with different waveform characteristics) in random order to each pig, 4 times in each orientation.
Results Cardiac stimulation, characterized by an abrupt increase in heart rate, reduction in myocardial contractility and mitral valve standstill, was detected with chest dart application in small pigs with all devices except the Taser X3 and in large pigs only with the S200 AT device (Table 1). Cardiac stimulation did not occur with abdominal dart application. VF was not observed.
Conclusion Cardiac stimulation occurs during ECD application in pigs. Stimulation is dependent upon dart orientation and pig size. Refinement in waveform characteristics may result in ECD’s with a lower risk of cardiac stimulation. Table 1: Heart Rate Response During ECD Stimulation *P < 0.0001 comparing cardiac heart rate with abdominal heart rate (Group 1)
- © 2012 by American Heart Association, Inc.