The nation’s top emergency medical directors say Tasers can be safely used by law enforcement officers, but that the possible effects of the devices need to be more carefully monitored, reports the Dallas Morning News. It is the first time that th U.S. Metropolitan Municipalities EMS Medical Directors Consortium, composed of the top emergency doctors from the nation’s 25 largest cities, offered an opinion on the use of devices such as Tasers, said Dr. Paul Pepe, chairman of emergency medicine at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center.
“These were all presented formally to a national audience, and the response was very good,” said Dr. Pepe. “We had police there, and they were happy with this.” The medical directors settled on the recommendations after discussing experiences in their own cities. The consortium’s collective opinion has had a bearing on medical practices adopted around the nation. In 2004, the group recommended that 911 dispatchers stop directing callers to use mouth-to-mouth resuscitation to treat heart attack victims because teaching it during an emergency took too long and did not significantly improve the chance of survival.