CANADA – Taser didn’t cause heart attack: expert [representing the manufacturer] (2013-06-05)

Published on June 5 2013 by admin

[[SUMMARY / COMMENTS : Dorin Panescu, called by Taser International to testify as an expert witness at the inquest inquiry into the death of Aron Firman has very close links to the TASER International (see note at bottom) although he claims “I’m not advocating (for Taser). I’m getting paid to give my scientific opinion …They have no input during the testing for my study. My opinions are based on scientific conclusions.” He says Taser probes were not close enough to Firman’s heart to create “ventricular fibrillation”, which could lead to a fatal heart attack.]]

Note added by GlobalShock

Dorin Panescu, is Chief Technical Officer and Vice President of Research & Development for NewCardio, Inc. since October 20, 2008. One of the directors NewCardio is Michael Kroll, chief scientist at TASER International. Panescu has co-authored articles with Kroll and at least one other TASER International researcher (Robert Stratbucker) who has testified frequently for TASER International and earns about $75,000 a year for such representation – beyond his regular salary. Mr Panescu is clearly going beyond providing “scientific opinion”!

Simcoe.com, by Rick Vanderlinde

Coroner’s inquest into death of Aron Firman continues.

A police-issue Taser did not kill Collingwood’s Aron Firman by inducing a heart attack, an electric engineer told a Coroner’s jury Monday.

Dorin Panescu was called by Taser International to testify as an expert witness, something the American company has paid him to do on several other occasions at Taser-related inquests and court cases.

The Coroner’s inquest into Firman’s death will not assign blame but may offer recommendations to avoid a similar death.

The chief pathologist of Ontario determined Firman died of cardiac arrhythmia caused by an OPP officer’s Taser use in June 2010. It’s the first death in Canada that a pathologist has attributed directly to the use of a Taser.

But Panescu said his study of the case shows the Taser probes were not close enough to Firman’s heart to create “ventricular fibrillation”, which could lead to a fatal heart attack.

“The tip of the probe would have to be less than 8 millimetres from the surface of the heart,” Panescu said. “The probe in Mr. Firman’s sternum was about 14 millimetres away.”

Firman died a few minutes after being Tasered at a Collingwood group home on June 24, 2010. An OPP officer used the Taser to subdue Firman after he became violent and knocked another officer to the ground.

A Taser probe struck Firman in the sternum, which was too far away to “capture his heart” and cause ventricular fibrillation, Panescu testified.

Ontario police officers are now taught to avoid striking the chest with a Taser probe to prevent possible cardiac arrest.

Panescu told the five-person jury the fact Firman was able to “run around” after being Tasered and was fighting an officer as he was handcuffed proves the Taser jolt did not impact his heart.

“The officer thought Firman might be able to break the handcuffs he had so much strength,” Panescu said. “You wouldn’t be able to fight because your blood pressure would drop so much (with ventricular fibrillation).”

The fact paramedics were unable to shock Firman’s heart back to normal with a defibrillator about 12 minutes after being jolted also means the Taser didn’t capture his heart, Panescu added.

“If a (defibrillator) shock is delivered within 15 minutes it should be successful,” he said. “But he did not have one single heart beat following the shock. That’s very unusual if he had ventricular defibrillation (from the Taser).”

The Firman family’s lawyer Sunil Mathai pointed to Panescu’s consulting relationship with Taser International, attempting to paint him as hired gun.

But Panescu, who has invented several medical devices, defended his position as an expert in his field.

“I’m not advocating (for Taser). I’m getting paid to give my scientific opinion,” Panescu said. “They have no input during the testing for my study. My opinions are based on scientific conclusions.”

Panescu also testified at B.C. inquiry into the Taser-related death of Robert Dziekanski in 2007. The B.C. Supreme Court upheld findings of the Braidwood inquiry that stun guns can kill.

Police in B.C. have dramatically reduced their use of Tasers since Dziekanski’s death, from 640 times in 2007 to 85 in 2011.

The inquest continues at the Simcoe County administrative centre in Midhurst

http://news.ca.msn.com/ontario/barrie/taser-didn%E2%80%99t-cause-heart-attack-expert

 

 

 

Comments are closed.