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Increased Hematocrit After Applications of Conducted Energy Weapons (Including TASER® Devices) to Sus scrofa


  • James R. Jauchem Ph.D.

    1. Directed Energy Bio-Effects Division, Human Effectiveness Directorate, 711th Human Performance Wing, U.S. Air Force Research Laboratory, 8262 Hawks Road, San Antonio, TX 78235.
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  • Funding provided by the Air Force Research Laboratory. The views, opinions and/or findings contained in this report are those of the author and should not be construed as an official Department of Defense position, policy or decision.

Additional information and reprint requests:
James R. Jauchem, Ph.D.
Senior Research Physiologist
Directed Energy Bio-Effects Division
Air Force Research Laboratory
8262 Hawks Road
San Antonio, TX 78235-5147


Abstract:  Conducted energy weapons (CEWs) are used by law enforcement personnel to incapacitate individuals quickly and effectively, without intending to cause lethality. CEWs have been deployed for relatively long or repeated exposures in some cases. In laboratory animal models, central venous hematocrit has increased significantly after CEW exposure. Even limited applications (e.g., three 5-sec applications) resulted in statistically significant increases in hematocrit. Preexposure hematocrit was significantly higher in nonsurvivors versus survivors after more extreme CEW applications. The purpose of this technical note is to address specific questions that may be generated when examining these results. Comparisons among results of CEW applications, other electrical muscle stimulation, and exercise/voluntary muscle contraction are included. The anesthetized swine appears to be an acceptable animal model for studying changes in hematocrit and associated red blood cell changes. Potential detrimental effects of increased hematocrit, and considerations during law enforcement use, are discussed.