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Estimating the probability that the Taser® directly causes human ventricular fibrillation

NCJ Number
H. Sun; D. Haemmerich; P. S. Rahko; J. G. Webster
Date Published
January 2010
14 pages

This paper describes the first methodology and results for estimating the order of probability for Tasers® directly causing human ventricular fibrillation (VF).


The probability of an X26 Taser® causing human VF was estimated using: (1) current density near the human heart estimated by using 3D finite-element (FE) models; (2) prior data of the maximum dart-to-heart distances that caused VF in pigs; (3) minimum skin-to-heart distances measured in erect humans by echocardiography; and (4) dart landing distribution estimated from police reports. The estimated mean probability of human VF was 0.001 for data from a pig having a chest wall resected to the ribs and 0.000006 for data from a pig with no resection when inserting a blunt probe. The VF probability for a given dart location decreased with the dart-to-heart horizontal distance (radius) on the skin surface. (Publisher abstract provided)