Friday, March 20, 2009

Taser to the head can cause seizures

A new report in the Canadian Medical Association Journal says that a taser deployed to the head can cause seizures. Previously, taser-related incidents concentrated on cardiac problems resulting from shots to the chest. The report discusses a police chase involving an Ontario police officer who was mistakenly tasered, ultimately suffering a seizure. Dr. Richard Wennberg, the senior author of the report, concluded that the taser certainly caused the officer’s seizure, as he had no prior history of seizures or underlying conditions that would precipitate a seizure. Listing seizures as a health risk, the report describes the dangers as follows: “Repetitive stimuli such as flashing lights or electrical stimuli can induce seizures in some individuals. The risk may be heightened if electrical stimuli or current passes through the head region.” Taser International had no comment either with respect to the report or the case involving the police officer.

The report is released in the wake of an incident where the RCMP tasered a distraught teenager this week, see This week the Toronto Police Service released its taser statistics which revealed that two 15-year-old boys were tasered last year. See "Boys 15, Tasered by police, stats show."

Posted by Mandy Cheema (Law III)

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