Taser blunt probe dart-to-heart distance causing ventricular fibrillation in pigs

IEEE Trans Biomed Eng. 2008 Dec;55(12):2768-71. doi: 10.1109/TBME.2008.2002154.


The maximum distance between the heart and a model Taser stimulation dart, called the dart-to-heart distance, at which the Taser can directly cause ventricular fibrillation (VF), was measured in pigs. A 9-mm-long blunt probe was advanced snugly through the surrounding tissues toward the heart. Five animals [pig mass=61.2+/-6.23 standard deviation (SD) kg] for ten dart-to-heart distances where the Taser caused VF were tested. The dart-to-heart distances where the Taser caused VF of the first stimulation site ranged from 4 to 8 mm with average 6.2 mm+/-1.79 (SD) and of the second stimulation site ranged from 2 to 8 mm with average 5.4 mm+/-2.41 (SD). The results help inform the evolving discussion of risks associated with Tasers.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Electric Injuries / etiology
  • Electric Injuries / physiopathology
  • Electroshock / adverse effects
  • Electroshock / instrumentation*
  • Equipment Safety
  • Risk Assessment
  • Swine
  • Ventricular Fibrillation / etiology*
  • Ventricular Fibrillation / physiopathology