Tasers and Narcotics

Emergency Medicine News this month had two articles of interest to corrections.

The Physiology of Tasers reviewed research into the safety of Tasers including a US Department of Justice study from 2009.

I think that those of us who evaluate patients who have been Tasered, as well as those correctional officers and deputies who carry Tasers, should have some familiarity with the research into Taser safety.  This is a good, short article on that subject.

The second interesting article in the same issue, Second Opinion: Treating Pain a Little Too Well, is an editorial on the striking rise of prescription narcotic abuse and deaths in the last few years.  The author is an ER physician, but the points he makes about pain scores,  patient “entitlement” to be pain free and people trying to “anesthetize their lives” will strike familiar chords for those of use in correctional medicine.