The Effects of Taser on a Person With a Pacemaker

by Joseph Pressley

Posted on Saturday 23rd of July 2011


For people with arrhythmias or who have problems on the rate and rhythm of the heartbeat, symptoms like fainting, difficulty in breathing, organ failure and death may be experienced. This is due to the fact that a too fast, too slow or irregular heartbeat can cause the heart to pump blood not enough for the different organs of the body. That is why a medical device called a pacemaker is placed. This small device will correct problems with the heart rate and also monitors the activity of your heart. It will adjust the rhythm based on the activity done by the person with a pacemaker.

The TASER is a device used by police authorities to immobilize a criminal or an unruly citizen and can be used by individuals for personal protection and self defense. This stunning device contains high voltage and low amperage. The electrical signal that it emits is the main reason why the target will experience temporary incapacitation, muscle spasms, confusion and weakness. The normal electrical signals of the body are disrupted by the emissions delivered by the device. However, you might wonder what happens to the person with a pacemaker when hit with a TASER.

A lot of questions have been raised as to what are the effects of a TASER when delivered to a person with a pacemaker. That is why there are many studies which have proven what the effects really are. Dr. Robert Stratbucker of the University of Missouri tested an M26 advanced stunning device and found out the results as to whether it could affect the activity of the pacemaker. He concluded that the device does not affect or damage a pacemaker. Today modern pacemakers can even resist the pulses of a defibrillator which has a threshold of 10 to 50 joules. The TASER’s current is 1.76 joules which is obviously lower than that of an electrical defibrillator which surely does not affect a pacemaker.

Another very important view on the effects of a stunning device can be seen at Oxford journals where a group of experts of the European Society of Cardiology conducted a thorough study about this. They have concluded that the neuromuscular incapacitating discharges delivered by a TASER x26 does not affect the function of implantable pacemakers even when the TASER is placed in such a way that it directly hits the device. So therefore, even if you hit the stunning tool close to heart, it will not have an effect on the pacemaker as long as the pacemaker used was built to withstand electrical impulses.

These studies have proven that there are no effects when a TASER is used on a person with a pacemaker. Moreover, there is no reason to worry because authorities with TASER are trained to responsibly use this stunning device. They undergo proper training and some even experience the feeling of being hit so that they will know what it feels when they use it to other people. In addition, civilians can only carry this kind of device if they have legally met the requirements imposed by the state laws.



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