Tasered youth fare as well as adults, new research says
Adolescents who are tasered by law enforcement officers do not appear to be at higher risk for serious injury than adults, according to new a new study from Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center researchers.
This latest research from Wake Forest Baptist is the first to specifically investigate Taser use on adolescents. Lead author Alison R. Gardner, M.D., an assistant professor of emergency medicine at Wake Forest Baptist, found no major differences in the injury rates or types of injuries to youth when compared to adults.
"We were looking closely for increased risk of cardiac effects and bodily injuries because of the differing body size and build of adolescents, but there were no significant injuries reported for this age group," said Gardner. "There were 20 mild injuries recorded and the majority of these were expected superficial puncture wounds from the weapons' probes."
The research appears this month online ahead of print in Pediatric Emergency Care. This was a retrospective study of Taser use from law enforcement data collected by the largest, independent multicenter database established in 2005 with funding by the National Institute of Justice. Tasers, or conducted electrical weapons, are non-lethal defense weapons used by law enforcement personnel to shock a person with probes from a distance.
Gardner and colleagues reviewed 2,026 Taser uses and found that 100, or 4.9 percent, were against adolescent suspects ranging in age from 13 to 17, with an average age of 16. Most of the youth were tasered by law enforcement officers during incidents involving civil disturbance, assault, robbery and burglary. Alcohol or other drug intoxication was known or suspected by police in 30 of the 100 cases, according to the study.
A limitation of the study is that the mean age (16), weight (168 pounds) and height (5 feet 8 inches tall) of the individuals reviewed indicates that this "population of minors mirrored the physiology of older adolescents and adults, more so than that of young or small children," Gardner said. "In real-life situations, Tasers were used in adolescents who were larger and older. This implies that law enforcement personnel are using Tasers as apprehension aids when physical apprehension is not easily accomplished, as would be the case in smaller and younger subjects."
This latest research builds on the work of its senior author William P. Bozeman, M.D., also of Wake Forest Baptist, who conducted the world's first large, independent study of injuries associated with Tasers to assess the overall risk and severity of injuries in real world conditions. Published in 2009, those results showed that the rate of significant injuries was low (less than 1 percent) and most injuries appeared to be minor.
Bozeman followed up with additional research in 2009 that evaluated the immediate cardiac and cardiovascular effects on a group of volunteer police officers, finding that CEW exposure overall was safe and well tolerated. His was only the second study to document the heart rhythm before, during and after a Taser application. In June he published a new study of real-life Taser uses by law enforcement agencies and found none in which the devices could be linked to cardiac complications, even when the probes landed on the upper chest area.
"Tasers have been proven to reduce the risk of injury in both suspects and officers and have prevented far more injuries and deaths than they have produced," said Bozeman. "While no tool is risk free, Tasers are clearly safer than alternate force options available to law enforcement officers such as batons, hand-to-hand combat and firearms, and the appropriate use of Tasers by police officers should be supported."
Provided by Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center
- Study suggests Tasers don't cause cardiac complications Jun 28, 2012 | not rated yet | 0
- Study: Tasers are safe to use Oct 08, 2007 | not rated yet | 0
- Taser issues advisory on use of stun guns Oct 21, 2009 | not rated yet | 0
- First study to test real-world effects of stun gun use raises questions about safety Jan 23, 2009 | not rated yet | 0
- Tw studies examine medical consequences of police use of force during restraint May 17, 2009 | not rated yet | 0
- Motion perception revisited: High Phi effect challenges established motion perception assumptions Apr 23, 2013 | 3 / 5 (2) | 2
- Anything you can do I can do better: Neuromolecular foundations of the superiority illusion (Update) Apr 02, 2013 | 4.5 / 5 (11) | 5
- The visual system as economist: Neural resource allocation in visual adaptation Mar 30, 2013 | 5 / 5 (2) | 9
- Separate lives: Neuronal and organismal lifespans decoupled Mar 27, 2013 | 4.9 / 5 (8) | 0
- Sizing things up: The evolutionary neurobiology of scale invariance Feb 28, 2013 | 4.8 / 5 (10) | 14
1 hour ago From the top of the ramp (0,5m) started simultaneously movement of sphere, cuboid and cylinder without initial speed. Calculate the speed of those...
Image of a Convex Lens Cut in Half Horizontally
1 hour ago Hello everyone, A friend of mine came up with this question in class and I really do not have a good answer. Suppose you have a convex lens...
Ray tracing throught optical system of thick lenses
1 hour ago Can you advise me a free software that allow to draw rays passed throught system of thick lenses (preferable in 3D)?
Faraday's law on circular wire
2 hours ago In my examples on Faraday's law in my book, they use a drawing of a magnet approaching a circular wire. The changing magnetic flux then induces an...
Specific Exergy vs Specific Flow Exergy
4 hours ago I'm having some difficulty understanding exactly what the difference between the definitions of these values are. As I understand it, in terms of...
The Durability of Bone: Long Falls
12 hours ago I am doing a paper on the physics in Valve's Portal and got interested in the "Long Fall Boots" that prevent any damage no matter how far you fall. I...
- More from Physics Forums - Classical Physics
More news stories
Phthalates: Study links chemicals widely found in plastics, processed food to elevated blood pressure in children, teens
Plastic additives known as phthalates (pronounced THAL-ates) are odorless, colorless and just about everywhere: They turn up in flooring, plastic cups, beach balls, plastic wrap, intravenous tubing and—according to the ...
Pediatrics 6 hours ago | not rated yet | 1 |
A study by Alexandra L. C. Martiniuk, M.Sc, Ph.D., of The George Institute for Global Health, Sydney, Australia, and colleagues suggests less sleep per night is associated with a significant increase in the risk for motor ...
Pediatrics May 20, 2013 | not rated yet | 0
Whole-cell pertussis vaccines were more effective at protecting against pertussis than acellular pertussis vaccines during a large recent outbreak, according to a new Kaiser Permanente study published in Pediatrics.
Pediatrics May 20, 2013 | not rated yet | 0 |
Levels of physical inactivity and obesity are very high in children, with fewer than 50% of primary school-aged boys and fewer than 28% of girls meeting the minimum levels of physical activity required to maintain health. ...
Pediatrics May 17, 2013 | 5 / 5 (1) | 0
Poisonings in young children have increased over the past decade, mainly due to medications in the home. A new study led by the Central Ohio Poison Center at Nationwide Children's Hospital, found that medication-related poisonings ...
Pediatrics May 16, 2013 | not rated yet | 0
Research presented today shows that high-fructose corn syrup can cause behavioural reactions in rats similar to those produced by drugs of abuse such as cocaine. These results, presented by addiction expert Francesco Leri, ...
1 hour ago | 4 / 5 (1) | 0
On May 22, JoVE will publish details of a technique to measure the health of human genetic material in relation to a patient's age. The method is demonstrated by the laboratory of Dr. Gil Atzmon at New York's Albert Einste ...
1 hour ago | not rated yet | 0
New research shows that craving drugs such as nicotine can be visualized in specific regions of the brain that are implicated in determining the value of actions, in planning actions and in motivation. Dr. Alain Dagher, from ...
1 hour ago | not rated yet | 0
(Medical Xpress)—Scientists supported by the National Institutes of Health have a new theory as to why a woman's fertility declines after her mid-30s. They also suggest an approach that might help slow ...
2 hours ago | not rated yet | 0 |
Is it permissible to harm one to save many? Those who tend to say "yes" when faced with this classic dilemma are likely to be deficient in a specific kind of empathy, according to a report published in the scientific journal ...
5 hours ago | not rated yet | 0 |
(Medical Xpress)—Health care spending is much higher for older Americans than for younger adults and children, on average, and analysts have said that increasing spending leads to longer life expectancy.
1 hour ago | not rated yet | 0