September 19, 2017

Taze me, bro! Taser stops atrial fibrillation!

Tasers have been very controversial in light of recent Taser deaths from cardiac arrest. But some studies say that tasers don’t affect the heart. So much for that theory!

The Annals of Emergency Medicine discusses the case of a belligerent young man who had eluded police, but was finally captured. He was being checked out in the emergency room when they discovered he had an irregular heartbeat, atrial fibrillation. He became agitated and started ripping off the EKG leads. To subdue him, police and security guards resorted to using a taser on him, which stopped his atrial fibrillation.

It could have been the beta blocker they gave him that stopped the afib. Or it could have stopped by itself. But more likely it was the taser. This is likely the first documented case of a positive heart result from tasering.

That’s a mighty extreme approach for getting a cardioversion back into normal sinus rhythm! 

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