May 19, 2006
Cleveland Clinic Study Shows that Cocaine Actually Increases the TASER Safety Margin
SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- TASER International, Inc. (NASDAQ: TASR), a market leader in advanced electronic control devices announced today that a study by the Cleveland Clinic reported a standard electrical discharge from a TASER® brand device does not induce ventricular fibrillation and that cocaine intoxication increases the safety margin even further.
The study used anesthetized adults pigs as animal models according to Dhanunjaya Lekkireddy, M.D., an electrophysiology fellow at the Cleveland Clinic, at the Heart Rhythm Society meeting. Five anesthetized adult pigs were infused intravenously with high-dose cocaine to study the interaction between the drug and the TASER X26's electrical current.
The study found that standard discharge from the TASER X26 did not induce ventricular fibrillation at any of the five tested body sites. The cocaine attenuated the effect of the shocks by 50% to 150% above the baseline safety margin.
The study indicates that cocaine may not cause arrhythmias and may actually protect against them in the absence of pre-existing myocardial ischemia, infarct, metabolic abnormalities or cardiomyopathy. According to Dr. Lekkireddy, the drugs appear to exert significant sodium channel blocking to increase ventricular fibrillation safety thresholds.
"A standard five-second stun gun application is unlikely to cause life-threatening arrhythmias, at least in the normal heart, irrespective of the position of application," said Dr. Lekkireddy.
"This is a ground breaking study which contradicts many speculations and popular myths about the interplay of cocaine and the electrical current of TASER technology," said Rick Smith, CEO for TASER International. "While cocaine is obviously dangerous by itself, the study found it is not an additive effect upon on the interaction with the electrical current of the TASER X26. In fact, contrary to popular myth, cocaine actually increased the safety margin by approximately 50 percent."
This study was published as an abstract and presented as a poster at the Heart Rhythm Society conference in Boston, MA today. These data and conclusions should be considered to be preliminary as they have not yet been reviewed and published in a peer-reviewed publication. More information on the study can be found at: http://www.taser.com/savinglives.