[Tasered: medical consequences of the use of electric stun guns]

Goudswaard ML, van den Hondel KE, Reijnders UJL, Reijnen G, van der Werf C, van Kleffens T, Berns AP, Koppen H, Vis JC. Getaserd [Tasered: medical consequences of the use of electric stun guns]. Ned Tijdschr Geneeskd. 2020 Jun 11;164:D4422. Dutch. PMID: 32613787.


The Electronic Control Device (ECD) will be used by the primary police force in the Netherlands. Hence medical personnel will be confronted with persons that have received ECD shocks more often. In light of these developments, it is important that care providers are aware of potential medical consequences resulting from the use of electric stun guns. The darts usually result in minor injury with small penetration wounds requiring minimal treatment. However, in vulnerable areas, such as the eyes, the darts can cause serious injury and specialist care is indicated. The electric shock causes muscle contractions, potentially resulting in traumatic falls, or fractures. Cardiac problems occur only in exceptional cases; risk factors include long duration of the power surge, short distance from the darts to the heart and underlying heart problems. In rare cases a pneumothorax may occur. Finally, often there are underlying medical problems requiring appropriate treatment such as drug intoxication, excited delirium or psychiatric disorders. Systematic recording of the medical problems caused by an ECD is indicated.


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