Taser-induced rapid ventricular myocardial capture demonstrated by pacemaker intracardiac electrograms

J Cardiovasc Electrophysiol. 2007 Aug;18(8):876-9. doi: 10.1111/j.1540-8167.2007.00881.x. Epub 2007 Jun 16.


Introduction: A Taser weapon is designed to incapacitate violent individuals by causing temporary neuromuscular paralysis due to current application. We report the first case of a Taser application in a person with a dual-chamber pacemaker demonstrating evidence of Taser-induced myocardial capture.

Methods and results: Device interrogation was performed in a 53-year-old man with a dual-chamber pacemaker who had received a Taser shot consisting of two barbs delivered simultaneously. Assessment of pacemaker function after Taser application demonstrated normal sensing, pacing thresholds, and lead impedances. Stored event data revealed two high ventricular rate episodes corresponding to the exact time of the Taser application.

Conclusions: This report describes the first human case of ventricular myocardial capture at a rapid rate resulting from a Taser application. This raises the issue as to whether conducted energy devices can cause primary myocardial capture or capture only in association with cardiac devices providing a preferential pathway of conduction to the myocardium.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Electrocardiography / methods*
  • Electroshock / adverse effects*
  • Humans
  • Law Enforcement / methods
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Pacemaker, Artificial*
  • Ventricular Fibrillation / diagnosis*
  • Ventricular Fibrillation / etiology*