You may have arrived here via a direct link to a specific post. To see the most recent posts, click HERE.

Thursday, April 07, 2011

Billings inquest: Bain's death in custody due to meth

A concerned Canadian wrote a very interesting comment on the news reports that follows below. Here's the Canadian's take on the matter:

As you reported in "Bain's Incustody Death Due To Meth", there can be no doubt the drug played a part, but to rule out the multi-stuns of the Taser as possible contributing factor, shows just how ignorant or biased this "medical expert" is. Taser shocks, especially when repeated or prolonged can cause cardiac arhythmias BUT can also lead to life-threatening metabolic acidosis.

In the only successful product liability case against Taser (Heston Vs. TI) two years ago, lawyer John Burton argued successfully that the company's scientists never tested for possible changes to blood chemistry caused by Taser shocks. The Six-Million dollar judgement is on appeal, but the point was made: Tasers can cause acidosis. Please realise Tasers cause muscle strands to twitch uncontrollably. This results in an unnatural surge of lactic acid throughout the blood stream. The acid/base balance in the blood is extremely narrow. If your PH falls fast and far enough, it can cause the muscles around the heart to cease operation, with often deadly effect.

Taser International has acknowledged this, albeit in the fine-print of the latest Training Bulletin # 17 issued quietly last May, for company insiders, Taser trainers and anyone willing to take the 40-minutes needed to download the bulletin from the company's website. Every police officer, share-holder, investor, insurer and government official who sanctions the use of Tasers should read the very long list of risks and warnings, including that of acidosis caused by Taser stuns.

A decade ago when ECDs began flooding the market, everyone was reassured by the manufacturers and the police that these new electrical devices were "safe to use on any assailant" and were "non-lethal". Within several years, especially after the related death toll began to climb, the wording was changed to "less than lethal". Somehow now, after 537 deaths in North America, proximal to Taser use, the language used to describe the devices has changed again to LETHAL. This was the conclusion of the Braidwood Inquiry in Canada. And now in the fine print, ostensibly to reduce the sting of future liabilites, Taser International is admitting the same thing-- Tasers can KILL. This is not what we were all told a decade ago. Did human physiology somehow change in the last ten years, making Tasers more deadly? Or was there a distinct lack of science applied to ensure the weapons were as safe as advertised?

And before a definitive cause of death is decided in the Bains case, the medical examiner should have the Taser involved tested independently, to ensure there is no 'output variance', because as we discovered in Canada, not all Tasers perform the same way. Eighty percent of the older model tasers tested in BC failed, after being sent to the one lab in the country equipped for such tests; eighty percent of the weapons had outputs outside of the safety allowables set by the manufacturer. Those older M26 models were pulled from service, coast-to-coast. Since there is no way of testing Tasers regularly in any police detachment in North America, how do your police or ME know for sure, if they have a defective Taser on their hands or not?

Concerned Canadian,
Vancouver, BC.

April 7, 2011
KRTV.com (Montana)

A coroner's inquest in Billings has determined that the death of Ryan Bain was not a crime.

The jury determined that Bain's death was caused by methamphetamine use.

The coroner's inquest was investigating the death of Bain after he was Tased multiple times and died later in custody.

On October 10, 2010, law enforcement authorities say Bain was seen running naked down the street and stole a van. Officers eventually caught up to him and tried to take him into custody. Officers believed he was under the influence of drugs and say he was non-compliant.

Bain was Tased multiple times and taken to YCDF where authorities say he refused to cooperate and was Tased again. He was placed in a holding cell and a short time later suffered cardiac arrest.

During the second day of the inquest, two medical doctors testifying in the inquest into Ryan Bain's death said that his death appeared to be the result of a methamphetamine overdose and not the direct result of being tasered.

A large amount of medical testimony was presented at day two of the inquest.

American Medical Rescue paramedic Robyn Harper testified saying when she arrived, Bain was essentially dead. Harper called St. Vincent Healthcare emergency room Dr. Sheldon Nelson. After 21 minutes of working on Bain, Dr. Nelson told medics they could stop CPR efforts. That was at 12:19 am. Seconds later, Harper was unplugging a monitor and was "surprised" to see that Bain had a pulse. They took to the emergency room.

St. Vincent Emergency Doctor Sheldon Nelson treated Bain when he arrived at he hospital. He told the jury there is no specific treatment plan for someone who is has taken methamphetamine and that it just has "to wear off." Dr. Nelson said Bain was comatose the entire time he saw him. However his heart rate was up, but that his blood pressure was adequate to extremely low. Bain had multiple medical test done. Dr. Nelson said he believes Bain's death was the cause of an "extremely significant overdose of meth."

Dr. Kristin Spanjian, an intensivist who oversees care at the Intensive Care Unit at St. Vincent's testified by video. The interview was conducted March 17. Dr. Spanjian says the cardiac arrest was due to "acute methamphetamine intoxication." She said the taser likely did not play a role in his death because he would have suffered cardiac arrest shortly after the incident.She went on to explain that people with severe acute meth intoxication display signs of severe acidosis, which is increased acidity in the blood. Bain had a ph of 6.9. The normal ph level is a 7.4. She said some of the factors leading to his cardiac arrest were the acidosis, the chemical reaction in his body and dehydration.

Bain's former fiancee Kalli Ackerman took the stand saying she lost contact with Bain for 45 minutes on October 10, 2010. When she saw him again at her father's house, he appeared to be fine at first and then quickly did not make sense and was hot to the touch. She tried taking him to the hospital, but Bain's mental state quickly changed and he did not recognize her and appeared to be afraid of her. She said she was begging him to get help when he took off running down an alley. That was the last time she saw Bain alive.

No comments: