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An Animal Model to Investigate Effectiveness and Safety of Conducted Energy Weapons (Including TASERĀ® Devices)

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Conducted energy weapons (CEWs) are used by law-enforcement personnel to incapacitate individuals quickly and effectively, without causing lethality. CEWs have been deployed for relatively long or repeated exposures during law-enforcement operations. The purpose of this technical note is to describe, in detail, some aspects of an anesthetized swine model used in our laboratory and to answer specific questions related to the model. In particular, tiletamine/zolazepam-induced, propofol-maintained anesthesia appears to be a useful technique for studying effects of CEW applications on muscle contraction and blood factors such as muscle enzymes. Because effects of CEWs on breathing have not been fully elucidated, a spontaneously breathing model is preferable to one in which mechanical ventilation is supplied. Placement of the swine in a supine position may facilitate measurement of muscle contractions, without compromising other physiological parameters.
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Keywords: TASER; animal model; conducted energy weapon; electro-muscular disruption; electronic control device; forensic pathophysiology; forensic science; swine

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Directed Energy Bio-effects Division, Human Effectiveness Directorate, 711th Human Performance Wing, U.S. Air Force Research Laboratory, San Antonio, TX 78235.

Publication date: March 1, 2010

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