June 26, 2009
By Mark Kroll
I sit on the scientific and medical advisory board for TASER International and wish to comment on the column "Police search for a defense in death" by Rebecca Walsh ( Tribune, June 21).
Commenting on the tragic death of Brian Cardall, Walsh states that the TASER Electronic Control Device was "zapping Cardall full of 50,000 volts" and implies that it contributed to his death.
The actual pulse voltage delivered by the TASER X26 is 600 volts and that is in very short pulses.
This 100-fold exaggeration is provided by Amnesty International material. This anti-police activist group has long used exaggeration and innuendo against TASER ECDs as a significant fundraising tool.
It is helpful to discuss the most common electronic control devices -- electric fences. The TASER X26 ECD satisfies the Underwriters Laboratory electric fence standards and puts out only 40 percent of the output allowed. If the TASER ECD were actually dangerous, the ranchers in your readership would have to remove their electric fences lest they risk electrocuting the next person that walks into one.
Walsh scoffs at the deadly condition known as "excited delirium" syndrome. She states, "Promoted by a retired Texas medical examiner, excited delirium is not accepted by either the American Medical Association or the American Psychological Association." This represents another of the statements of Amnesty International.
Your readers can see what the AMA actually says about excited delirium by going to their website.
"Excited delirium" is a widely accepted entity in forensic pathology and is cited by medical examiners to explain the sudden in-custody deaths of individuals who are combative and in a highly agitated state.
Excited delirium is broadly defined as a state of agitation, excitability, paranoia, aggression and apparent immunity to pain, often associated with stimulant use and certain psychiatric disorders.
The signs and symptoms typically ascribed to "excited delirium" include bizarre or violent behavior, hyperactivity, hyperthermia, confusion, great strength, sweating and removal of clothing, and imperviousness to pain.
Excited delirium deaths have been reported in the medical literature for over 150 years. The exact term is found in medical textbooks beginning in the 1800s.
The fundamentals of an excited delirium death are not that difficult to understand. Our bodies have limits to exertion. If we were to run rapidly we would eventually tire and slow down or stop because our brain recognizes signals of overexertion such as acid in our blood. If we were to continue -- because our brain ignored such signals -- we would exert ourselves until we died. The body has limits for a reason. If these limits are sufficiently exceeded we will die.
Walsh adds, "Brian Cardall is missing key symptoms of excited delirium: He had no cocaine in his system. He was not massive or obese."
If your readers read the AMA statement on excited delirium, they'll see that these criteria are actually not required.
Our thoughts and prayers should be with the Cardall family that is suffering from their sudden loss. It does them a great disservice to repeat exaggerations and innuendo from the fundraising material of an activist anti-police group to incorrectly imply that police officers killed their son.
Mark Kroll teaches in the biomedical engineering department at the University of Minnesota.
Comment by Excited Frauds: 6/26/2009 3:35:00 AM
Taser Spokes-Puppet, Mark Kroll, knows his medically invalid Taser Propaganda quite well. "Excited Delirium" was first used by the director of an insane asylum in the 1800's, and the gentleman was regarded as a QUACK.
As Mark knows, no one has ever been diagnosed as having died of "Excited Delirium" without 2 factors being present: 1.) A law enforcement officer 2.) A method of restraint being used or abused.
That makes "Excited Delirium" one of medicines MIRACLES! A "medical condition" which only occurs in the presence of a police officer or jail guard, who is trying to control a person with a method of restraint. And those taser shockers are often the restraint being used, although hand-cuffs and hog-ties also appear, as well as an officer putting his weight on the person.
Ask yourself this question: "If excitedly delirius persons are on a One Way Path to Certain Death, why aren't at least 25% or 50% of these persons dying BEFORE the taser or hog-tie is used? Why aren't excitedly delirius people dying when the officer yells "Taser! Taser! Taser!" once in a while?
The ANSWER is that the simple presence of the law enforcement officer can not trigger a "medical condition", and if it could, suspects should be dying WITHOUT the restraint or taser being applied.
There is a principle of Logic called Occam's Razor, which roughly says that usually the explanation using the fewest variables will be the correct explanation.
What killed Brian is quite simple ~ he was agitated for a period of time, then confronted and assaulted by a peace officer using a Taser and he died ~ Occam says the Taser killed him, as it should, since the Taser barbs were lodged below his skin and across his heart, which is a muscle and is directly affected by a Taser "electro-muscular control device". The Taser worked perfectly to control Brian's most important muscle - his HEART, and it went into fibrillation, eventually leading to his death.
Comment by Excited Frauds: 6/26/2009 7:39:00 AM
Mark Kroll mentions Underwriters Labs and Electric Fences ......"The TASER X26 ECD satisfies the Underwriters Laboratory electric fence standards and puts out only 40 percent of the output allowed.
"Sorry, Mark, but that is a LIE in sheep's clothing. Tasers have NEVER been submitted or reviewed for electrical safety by Underwriter's Labs. In fact, Tasers can't be used in the rain, because they will short-circuit. They aren't even "water-proof".
Mark's company - Taser International - was WARNED by "UL", in a letter, to Cease using its name or logo, in any Taser marketing material, since UL had never been asked to test Taser electrical properties or safety.
Mark knows this, yet he uses the "UL" name to make it seem that Tasers are safe, and UL agrees. Early Tasers were sold to law enforcement, using marketing materials which fraudulently mentioned "UL" Standards, to make foolish cops believe they are "UL Safe". That was a Taser LIE, and UL threatened Legal Action, if the stun gun maker didn't remove ALL references to their Labs.
The fact that Mark Kroll would use the "electric fencing" comparison, shows how shallow and deceptive he is.
Mark holds no medical degrees. He's not a medical doctor.
I suspect that Mark Kroll knows full well that Tasers can kill, and he even knows the medical path to Taser electrocutions.
Why don't you request UL to test your dangerous devices, Mark? Are you afraid of the results? Why don't you ask the FDA to approve your Taser "medical device", since it works just like those FDA Approved heart devices you are associated with?
Sadly, in many situations Tasers can induce irregular heart rhythms, especially when the Taser barbs puncture the skin across the heart. That's when they are deadliest.
"Excited Delirium" doesn't pass the Laugh Test. It is Junk Medical Science, used to hide police and Taser International responsibility in unfortunate, but too common, Taser electrocutions.
See also: Electrical Standards (March 4, 2005 - Arizona Republic) which said, in part:
Underwriters Laboratories, which has certified billions of consumer goods for electrical safety, says the graph that Taser is using does not reflect any study of the stun gun's safety. UL spokesman Paul Baker says the graph is supposed to apply to an electric fence. "We take issue with that data in relation to Taser," he said. "Underwriters Lab does not agree with Taser." The graph is based on a decades-old study that measured how much current passing through an electric fence it would take to induce ventricular fibrillation. Baker said he is surprised that Taser is still using the graph since the lab publicly stated last month that it has no bearing on the stun gun. As for the IEC standards, Ruggieri sits on the committee charged with developing and maintaining those standards. He has also helped write standards for Underwriters Laboratories. He said the standards Taser cites do not address repeating pulses used by the stun gun.
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Friday, June 26, 2009
June 26, 2009