February 07, 2007
Study Finds Prolonged Exposure from a TASER Electronic Control Device has No Abnormal Respiratory Effects on Human Subjects
Human test subjects were able to breathe within normal limits during extended 15-second exposures
SCOTTSDALE, AZ -- TASER International, Inc. (Nasdaq: TASR), a market leader in advanced personal protection devices announced today that a landmark study by Dr. Jeffrey Ho, a physician in the Department of Emergency Medicine at Hennepin County Medical Center (Minneapolis, MN) who led a group of physicians including Dr. Donald M. Dawes of Lompoc District Hospital (Lompoc, CA) and Dr. Laura L. Bultman of Northern California Kaiser Permanente (Sacramento, CA) and other researchers from around the country concluded that prolonged exposure to a conducted energy weapon "did not impair respiratory parameters in this population group of volunteers."
The peer reviewed study appeared Tuesday as an "Article in Press" on the web site of the Society for Academic Emergency Medicine.
This study is the most extensive published sampling of human subjects to undergo breath-by-breath gas exchange measurement on the effects of a 15-second exposure to the TASER® X26 Electronic Control Device (ECD). An ECD is also referred to as a conducted energy weapon (CEW).
According to the study, the researchers "were to unable detect any respiratory impairment during either prolonged continuous or prolonged intermittent CEW exposure in this study population. It does not appear that prolonged CEW exposure causes a decreased tidal volume, hypercapnia, hypoxia, or apnea. We recommend further study in this area to validate our results."
"We applaud Dr. Ho and his team of researchers for this landmark human study into the medical safety of our life-saving TASER systems," said Rick Smith, CEO of TASER International. "This study of human volunteers as it relates to respiratory effects surrounding TASER technology lays more groundwork for further, planned human studies. We continue to encourage studies of this type and believe that the foundation of data reported by Dr. Ho and his team will further debunk the myth of breathing impairment."
"We were particularly interested in the study confirming what early research and anecdotal experience had previously demonstrated finding no evidence of breathing impairment during the testing of TASER devices as it relates to the attempts of critics to link TASER technology with in-custody death events. It's encouraging to see this subject addressed in a highly respected peer reviewed medical journal as opposed to the news accounts using subjective speculation by critics and third parties without scientific basis," concluded Smith.
The study assessed the breathing capability of human subjects during extended exposures to a TASER ECD. It studied 52 resting human subjects who underwent breath-by-breath gas exchange monitoring after a 15-second discharge from a TASER X26. The subjects were randomized and placed on a pulmonary function measurement device and received either three five-second discharges with a one-second break between cycles or had a continuous discharge of 15 seconds applied. Common respiratory parameters were collected before, during and after the exposure. Health histories and demographic information were also collected on the volunteers.
The study was partially funded by TASER International and is available at www.aemj.org.