Authors: Tom Bannister / Codes: SLO1, SLO2, SLO4, SLO7, TP10, TP7, TP8 / Published: 17/06/2024

Scope / Reason for development

Patients attending emergency departments (ED) following discharge of controlled electrical devices (CED) by the Police Service.

To provide clinical and medicolegal guidance for ED clinicians.

Summary of Recommendations

  1. ED clinicians should be aware of the consequences of conducted energy devices (CED) or ‘Tasers’ discharge, not just in relation to probe removal but also the potential to be associated with other injuries.
  2. ED clinicians should pay particular attention to the circumstances of CED discharge in relation to whether their patient may be suffering from a mental health disorder, acute behavioural disturbance or intoxication through drugs or alcohol.
  3. Assessment of CED discharge cases is likely to be mainly on clinical grounds, routine investigations are not indicated.
  4. In patients who are symptom free and alert, prolonged observation is not required.
  5. Patients who are being discharged back to police custody, should be clinically safe to be detained and accompanied by a discharge letter from the ED outlining what treatment (procedural, medication etc.) they have had and if there are any signs to look for in the case of potential deterioration.
  6. The role of the assessing ED clinician is primarily one of clinical management; the ED clinician is NOT a substitute for a forensic practitioner.

Ensure that you read the full Suspected Management if Controlled Energy Device (Taser) Attendances Guideline

Key Information

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