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The Physiologic Effects of a Conducted Electrical Weapon in Swine

      Study objective

      By using an animal model, we determine whether repeated exposures to a conducted electrical weapon could have physiologic consequences.

      Methods

      Exposures to the Stinger S-400 conducted electrical weapon were applied to 10 healthy, anesthetized, Yorkshire-cross, male swine by attaching probes from the cartridge to the sternal notch and anterolateral thorax at a distance of 21.5 cm. The standard pulse generated by the Stinger S-400 during the normal application was applied 20 times during 31 minutes. To evaluate the health effects of the exposures, key physiologic characteristics were evaluated, including arterial pH, PCO2, PO2, blood lactate, cardiac output, ECG, pulse rate, mean arterial pressure, central venous pressure, pulmonary artery pressure and airway pressure, and the cardiac marker troponin I.

      Results

      There were notable changes in pH, PCO2, blood lactate, cardiac output, and mean arterial pressure after 1 or more sets of exposures, all of which normalized during the next few hours. Troponin I, PO2, pulse rate, mean arterial pressure, central venous pressure, pulmonary artery pressure, and airway pressure did not change markedly during or after the shocks. Three premature ventricular contractions occurred in one animal; all other ECG results were normal.

      Conclusion

      Repeated exposures to a conducted electrical weapon result in respiratory acidosis, metabolic vasodilation, and an increase in blood lactate level. These effects were transient in this study, with full recovery by 4 hours postexposure. The Stinger S-400 appears to have no serious adverse physiologic effects on healthy, anesthetized swine.
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