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Saturday, January 26, 2008

Alberta taser death report calls for more research into "excited delirium"

January 25, 2008
CBC News

A fatality report released Friday into the death of a man who police shot with a stun gun in March 2004 has recommended more research into the treatment and causes of excited delirium.

Ronald Perry died of cardiac arrest due to excited delirium after police used a Taser gun on him twice. He had been exhibiting violent and irrational behaviour, including screaming obscenities, punching people and jumping up and down on the hood of a car, the inquiry heard in December.

After being taken to hospital to be treated for a head injury, Perry still couldn't be controlled and he was shot with a Taser five more times. He later stopped breathing, suffered brain damage, and died four days later.

The report, by provincial court Judge Fern LeReverend, found that people with excited delirium need help, and need to be restrained to get that help, but that death frequently ensues after they are restrained. The condition needs more study, and there should be a central reporting system for this kind of incident, the judge said.

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