Taser study finds serious injuries rare after Taser use
BD Diagnostics, a segment of BD (Becton, Dickinson and Company) has announced that it received U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Premarket Approval (PMA) for the BD FocalPoint(TM) GS Imaging System. This innovative new system is designed to enhance cervical cancer screening for cytology laboratories using the BD SurePath(TM) Pap test slides to detect evidence
Full Post: BD Diagnostics receives FDA approval for imaging system that enhances detection of cervical cancer
An emergency medicine researcher at Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center has just published the first large, independent study of injuries from conducted electrical weapon (CEW) or Taser use, finding that serious injuries occurred in fewer than 1 percent of 1,201 Taser uses by law enforcement officers.
The study, led by William P. Bozeman, M.D., of Wake Forest University School of Medicine, is now available online in the Annals of Emergency Medicine (”Safety and Injury Profile of Conducted Electrical Weapons Used By Law Enforcement Officers Against Criminal Suspects”) and is scheduled to appear in a future print issue of the journal.
The findings represent a three-year review of 1,201 CEW uses at six law enforcement agencies across the United States . The study was funded by the National Institute of Justice.
“These weapons appear to be very safe, especially when compared to other options police have for subduing violent or combative suspects,” Bozeman said. “That is not to say that injuries and deaths are impossible. Police and medical personnel need to be aware of the potential for serious injury and look for evidence that a person subdued by a Taser has been hurt.”
The study reports that 99.75 percent of criminal suspects shocked by a CEW received no injuries or mild injuries only, such as scrapes and bruises. Of the 1,201 criminal suspects, 492 suffered mild injuries, mostly (83 percent) superficial puncture wounds from the Taser probes. Of the three subjects who sustained significant injuries, two suffered from head injuries related to falls; the third developed rhabdomyolysis, or a rapid breakdown of muscle tissue. Ninety-four percent of the suspects were male, and alcohol or intoxication was documented in almost half of the cases (49.5 percent).
A physician at each participating agency reviewed police and medical records after each CEW use. Injuries were identified and classified as mild, moderate or severe.
More than two-thirds of United States law enforcement agencies currently use CEWs. They are credited with decreasing police officer and suspect injuries and deaths due to police use of force. However, the devices have been surrounded with controversy.
“While injuries from Taser use are uncommon, they are not unheard of,” Bozeman said. “Subjects exposed to a CEW discharge should be assessed for injuries, and appropriate medical evaluation should be provided when non-trivial injuries are apparent or suspected. Existing medical and/or psychiatric conditions in the suspect may also cause or contribute to the behavior that leads police to use a Taser or other physical force. These underlying conditions may require medical assessment and treatment, independent of Taser exposure.”
Co-authors were J. Tripp Winslow, M.D., M.P.H., of Wake Forest University , William E. Hauda, M.D., of Inova Fairfax Hospital ( Va. ), Joseph J. Heck, D.O., of University Medical Center ( Nev. ), Derrel Graham, M.D., and Brian Martin, M.D., M.S., of Louisiana State University-Shreveport ( La. ).
Rare injuries accounted for 3.5 percent of high school athletes’ injuries 2005 through 2007, according to the first study to examine rare injuries and conditions of U.S. high school athletes. Rare injuries include eye injuries, dental injuries, neck and cervical injuries and dehydration and heat illness, which may result in high morbidity, costly surgeries and
Full Post: Study looks at rare injuries in high school athletes
Forest Laboratories, Inc. announced today that the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (”USPTO”) has closed prosecution on the merits of the reexamination proceedings for the patent for Bystolic and confirmed the validity of all of the previously granted claims. As a result, the USPTO has issued a Notice of Intent to Issue Ex Parte Reexamination
Full Post: USPTO confirms validity of Bystolic patent
One of the most widely used herbal supplements for improving memory and cognition has no impact on the development of dementia or Alzheimer’s disease, according to new results from a $30 million, multi-center study. The Ginkgo biloba for the Evaluation of Memory (GEM) Study was the largest clinical trial ever to evaluate the effects of
Full Post: Ginkgo biloba does nothing for dementia, Alzheimer’s
Ultraviolet light may help relieve pain in fibromyalgia syndrome patients, according to a preliminary study at Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center conducted by dermatology, rheumatology, and public health sciences researchers. A report on the study appears in the January issue of the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine. Steven R. Feldman, M.D., Ph.D.,
Full Post: Tanning beds provide potential pain relief for fibromyalgia patients
Cancer patients, with their weakened immune systems, are particularly vulnerable when the cold and flu season hits. The National Cancer Institute (NCI), part of the National Institutes of Health and the world’s most prestigious cancer research body, is sponsoring a landmark trial to evaluate if a unique Canadian cold remedy - ginseng extract COLD-FX -
Full Post: NCI sponsors Canadian cold/flu remedy trial in leukemia patients