Cook County Electrical


 Trauma Study Group

Presented at the Society for Academic Emergency Medicine Annual Meeting

in Chicago, May 16-19, 2007


Moderated Poster Session:


Valentino, D.J., R.J. Walter, A.J. Dennis, B. Margeta, K. Nagy, J. Winners, F. Bokhari, D.E. Wiley, K. Joseph, and R.R. Roberts.  2007.  Acad. Emerg. Med., 14:S104.

Poster as PDF:  Valentino_SAEM_TASER_2007.pdf

Study Methods      

  • Using an IACUC approved protocol, 13 standard pigs (22-77 kg; 6 experimentals, 5 sham and 2 paralyzed sham controls) were anesthetized with ketamine and xylazine.  
  • Experimentals were paralyzed with succinylcholine (2 mg/kg) then exposed to two 40 sec discharges from a TASER X26 (TASER Intl., Scottsdale, AZ) across the torso. 


  • Blood pressure, vital signs, troponin I, blood gases, and electrolyte levels were obtained pre-exposure and at 5, 15, 30 and 60 min and 24, 48 and 72 hrs post-discharge.
  • EKGs and echocardiography were performed before, during, and after the discharges using a GE LOGIQ7 ultrasound. 


  • With a transcardiac vector and regardless of animal size, the TASER X26 INVARIABLY produced myocardial capture and this usually reverted spontaneously to sinus rhythm post-discharge. 
  • The ventricular tachycardia caused by TASER X26 discharges sometimes degenerated into fatal ventricular fibrillation.
  • The extreme acid-base disturbances seen after lengthy TASER discharges are independent of the cardiac dysrhythmias seen here and are primarily the result of intense skeletal muscle contractions.
  • The TASER X26 can clearly capture and alter cardiac rhythm, but the consequences may not be clinically detectable upon subsequent medical evaluation. 
  • This study was published in Acad. Emerg. Med. in January 2008.  The publication and echocardiography video are available online at:
    Walter, R.J., Dennis, A.J., D.J. Valentino, B. Margeta, K.K. Nagy, F. Bokhari, D.E. Wiley, K.T. Joseph, and R.R. Roberts.  2008.  TASER® X26 discharges in swine produce potentially fatal ventricular arrhythmias.  Acad. Emerg. Med. 15:66-73.   




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We thank the Des Plaines, IL Police Department and the Northern Illinois Police Alarm System Emergency Services team (NIPAS EST) for logistic support of this project.  
No outside funds were used to support this project and none of the investigators have any financial interest in any stun device manufacturer. 


Questions or comments?  Contact:  cookcountytrauma AT

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In theory there is no difference between theory and practice. 

In practice there is.

—Yogi Berra