Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Findings suggest significant bias in TASER safety studies, according to team of heart doctors

Date:
May 10, 2011
Source:
University of California - San Francisco
Summary:
The ongoing controversy surrounding the safety of using TASER electrical stun guns is taking a new turn with the announcement of findings by a team of cardiologists suggesting that much of the current TASER-related safety research may be biased due to ties to the devices' manufacturer, TASER International, Inc.

The ongoing controversy surrounding the safety of using TASER® electrical stun guns is taking a new turn with the announcement of findings by a team of cardiologists at the University of California, San Francisco suggesting that much of the current TASER®-related safety research may be biased due to ties to the devices' manufacturer, TASER International, Inc.

In a research abstract presented at the Heart Rhythm Society's 32nd Annual Scientific Sessions at the Moscone Center in San Francisco, study author Peyman N. Azadani, MD, research associate at UCSF's Department of Medicine, Division of Cardiac Electrophysiology, and senior author Byron K. Lee, MD, associate professor of medicine in UCSF's cardiology division, set out to gauge the accuracy of 50 published studies on the potential dangers of using TASER® products. Lee directs the Electrophysiology Laboratories and Clinics in UCSF's Cardiology Division, and first published research on the safety of law enforcement use of TASERs in 2009.

The new study's authors report that among the product safety studies they analyzed, the likelihood of a study concluding TASER® devices are safe was 75 percent higher when the studies were either funded by the manufacturer or written by authors affiliated with the company, than when studies were conducted independently.

Azadani, Lee and three colleagues divided TASER® safety study outcomes into four categories: harmful, probably harmful, unlikely harmful and not harmful. Of the 50 articles studied, 23 were funded by TASER International, Inc. or written by an author affiliated with the company. Nearly all (96 percent) of the TASER-supported articles concluded the devices were either "unlikely harmful" (26 percent) or "not harmful" (70 percent). In contrast, of the 27 studies not affiliated with TASER International, 55 percent found that TASERs are either "unlikely harmful" (29 percent) or "not harmful" (26 percent).

TASERs are the most popular brand of electrical stun guns, used primarily by law enforcement agencies to incapacitate combative suspects. The devices, also marketed for home use, deliver electrical pulses that stimulate the nervous system and cause involuntary muscle contractions. Advocates of using such conductive energy devices, or CEDs, say that they are effective and cause only temporary physical symptoms. Critics and scientists have raised concerns about the potential dangers of using TASER® devices, particularly on pregnant women, the elderly and very young, and individuals with underlying medical conditions.

The UCSF-led research findings have been submitted for publication but are not yet published in a peer-reviewed scientific journal. The study's other authors are Zian H. Tseng, MD and Gregory M. Marcus, MD, both assistant professors of medicine at UCSF School of Medicine, Division of Cardiology, and Simon Ermakov, BA. The scientists conclude that when reading about TASERs, the public should consider the funding source and author affiliation when evaluating an article's safety conclusions.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of California - San Francisco. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University of California - San Francisco. "Findings suggest significant bias in TASER safety studies, according to team of heart doctors." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 10 May 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/05/110509091607.htm>.
University of California - San Francisco. (2011, May 10). Findings suggest significant bias in TASER safety studies, according to team of heart doctors. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 23, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/05/110509091607.htm
University of California - San Francisco. "Findings suggest significant bias in TASER safety studies, according to team of heart doctors." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/05/110509091607.htm (accessed September 23, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Ebola Costs Keep Mounting

Ebola Costs Keep Mounting

Reuters - Business Video Online (Sep. 23, 2014) — The WHO has warned up to 20,000 people could be infected with Ebola over the next few weeks. As Sonia Legg reports, the implications for the West African countries suffering from the disease are huge. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ebola Cases Could Reach 1.4 Million Within 4 Months

Ebola Cases Could Reach 1.4 Million Within 4 Months

Newsy (Sep. 23, 2014) — Health officials warn that without further intervention, the number of Ebola cases in Liberia and Sierra Leone could reach 1.4 million by January. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
WHO: Ebola Cases to Triple in Weeks Without Drastic Action

WHO: Ebola Cases to Triple in Weeks Without Drastic Action

AFP (Sep. 23, 2014) — The number of Ebola infections will triple to 20,000 by November, soaring by thousands every week if efforts to stop the outbreak are not stepped up radically, the WHO warned in a study on Tuesday. Duration: 01:01 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
5 Ways Men Can Prevent Most Heart Attacks

5 Ways Men Can Prevent Most Heart Attacks

Newsy (Sep. 23, 2014) — No surprise here: A recent study says men can reduce their risk of heart attack by maintaining a healthy lifestyle, which includes daily exercise. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories

 

Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins