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#1
xMenace

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Nova Scotia News - TheChronicleHerald.ca

Woman wants stun gun review after sick husband zapped

By TOM McCOAG Amherst Bureau
Tue. Sep 23 - 7:04 PM

AMHERST — An Amherst woman wants an inquiry into why police Tasered her diabetic husband as paramedics treated him.

“I just can’t believe they’d Taser an obviously sick man,” the woman said Tuesday. She agreed to an interview but asked that neither she nor her husband be named.
The incident began shortly before 2 p.m. on Sept. 14 after the man’s children couldn’t wake him. “I checked his blood sugars. It measured 1.4 on the scale and it should read around eight,” the distraught woman said, her voice trembling.

“I’d never seen it that low before.”

She attempted to boost her husband’s blood-sugar level by giving him some maple sugar, but he began making strange noises that scared her.

“I called 911. They came really quick.”

She admitted that her husband, who is six feet tall and 230 pounds, wasn’t keeping still for paramedics. They asked her if it was all right to call the Amherst Police Department because they needed to get an IV into him quickly. She agreed.

Four officers arrived and went into the bedroom. She left because the small room was becoming crowded. “I didn’t hear any sounds of a struggle when I heard an officer scream, ‘I’m going to Taser you. I’m going to Taser you,’” the woman said. “I ran down the hall screaming ‘No’ when I heard the zap. When I got in to the room, he was sitting up holding his side, crying.”

After a few minutes, she said her husband calmed down enough to be given an IV. But she said the change in her husband’s disposition was the result of a glucose shot, not the result of being Tasered.

Paramedics offered to take him to the hospital, but he refused.

“He doesn’t remember anything about the incident, is feeling fine now and is back at work,” the woman said. “He really wants the whole thing dropped and we aren’t planning on suing anyone.”

But she doesn’t understand why officers Tasered her husband, who has been a diabetic for 12 years. Paul Maynard, spokesman for Emergency Health Services, said Tuesday paramedics were trying to give the man an IV for a life-threatening diabetic condition when police were called because of the man’s combative nature.

“It’s not unusual for someone to become combative when blood sugars are low,” Mr. Maynard said.

But he said this is the first time that he knew of where an officer has Tasered a man after paramedics were on the scene, he said.

“I don’t know why they would have Tasered him,” Mr. Maynard said. “That is a question you will have to ask the police. But it is not something that would have been recommended by the paramedics.”

Deputy Police Chief Ian Naylor said the department is conducting an internal review, as required under provincial guidelines, adopted in July, involving Taser use.

On the afternoon of the incident, paramedics called police “to assist them with a combative 34-year-old man who required immediate medical assistance,” Deputy Chief Naylor said.

Officers attempted to restrain the man, with one officer holding each of the man’s arms and a third holding his legs, the deputy chief said.

The man continued to struggle, sat up, lifted the officer holding his legs into the air and attempted to bite an officer holding an arm, he said.

“The officers were unable to control the man due to his size and strength. The officers were concerned that if he did break free, he would be a danger to himself, the ... paramedics and the officers.”

The struggle lasted about five minutes before the man was warned that the stun gun would be used if he did not calm down, the deputy chief said. He said the man kept struggling, so “a touch stun was applied to the man’s left side for approximately one second. Shortly after, the man’s resistance decreased and paramedics were able to treat” him.

Deputy Chief Naylor said the review is still underway so he could not say if the Taser caused the man to stop struggling.

“All I know at this stage is that shortly after the Taser was applied, the paramedics were able to give him the medication he needed.”

Deputy Chief Naylor said the public needs to know that the officers were told by paramedics that the man was facing a life-threatening situation and needed to be subdued quickly for medical treatment.

The officer who Tasered the man was trained to use the stun gun last summer. Officers must undergo Taser training every 36 months.

Provincial guidelines leave the decision to use a Taser in the hands of officers at the scene but indicate it can only be discharged “where a subject exhibits behaviour consistent with aggressive or violent resistance or active threat that may cause serious injury to the police officer, the subject or the public.”

“If the province decides that (the incident) should be reviewed by an outside agency, we will co-operate,” the deputy chief said.

Justice Minister Cecil Clarke said he has no problem with the actions of the Amherst officers.

“It’s my understanding that all of the appropriate governance criteria have been met with regards to that case,” Mr. Clarke said.

He said the officer’s decision to use the stun gun was in compliance with Canadian standards.

Police must determine the potential for threat on a case-by-case basis, he said.

New Democrat justice critic Bill Estabrooks would like to see better guidelines for Taser use. Mr. Estabrooks said he isn’t questioning the officer’s judgment, “but what I am questioning is the use of Tasers again in an inappropriate manner basically to sedate a patient.”

“Maybe it would have been a situation where if he’d been allowed to calm down or if his blood-sugar level was that low, I would assume that he would have basically passed out or gone to sleep or whatever.”Liberal critic Michel Samson is not impressed that a 911 call regarding a man in medical distress ended up with that man Tasered.

“Due to the lack of protocol from the minister of justice and the government on the use of Tasers, our law enforcement officials are left at a disadvantage, having to make a determination on their own as to when these Tasers are to be used.”

With Dan Arsenault, crime reporter

(tmccoag@herald.ca)

(darsenault@herald.ca)

Virginia Woolf: “Consider how common illness is, how tremendous the spiritual change that it brings, how astonishing, when the lights of health go down, the undiscovered countries that are then disclosed, what wastes and deserts of the soul a slight attack of influenza brings to view, what precipices and lawns sprinkled with bright flowers a little rise of temperature reveals, what ancient and obdurate oaks are uprooted in us by the act of sickness, how we go down in the pit of death and feel the waters of annihilation close above our heads and wake thinking to find ourselves in the presence of the angels and the harpers when we have a tooth out and come to the surface in the dentist's arm-chair and confuse his "Rinse the mouth-rinse the mouth" with the greeting of the Deity stooping from the floor of Heaven to welcome us - when we think of this, as we are so frequently forced to think of it, it becomes strange indeed that illness has not taken its place with love and battle and jealousy among the prime themes of literature”
Back on MDI and doing well. Trying Victoza and loving it. A1C 6.0, no major hypos; a few highs; lots of shots. Diagnosed Oct 19th, 1975.
HDL-101; LDL-64; TG-36; TOT-172


#2
Injecto

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I know someone will be all for the police doing whatever they need to do...yadda yadda yadda....:mad: but in this case the cops need to be punished and the husband compensated. It's completely unacceptable.

#3
JediSkipdogg

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Generally I have to side with cops but in this case I can't. One thing I don't get, and Canada must just be odd, but in the US every department that I can think of that has Tasers requires the offender to be arrested for at least obstruction or disorderly conduct. In this case it sounds like the used the taser and left.

Sounds like Canadian police need some more protocols.

●Police Dispatcher
●Type 1 diabetic since 11 months old
●Pumper since December of 2002
~Animas IR 1000 (Dec. 2002 - Jan. 2005)
~Animas IR 1200 (Jan. 2005 - Jan. 2009)
~Cozmo 1800 (Jan. 2009 - ?)
●Dexcom Seven+ (Aug 1, 2009 - Oct 31, 2012)
●Dexcom G4 (Nov 1, 2012 - ???)

 

Diabetes is an Art, NOT a Science. You must master the control by skills and not by knowledge alone.


#4
patricia52

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I would like to know why the medics did not tell the officers not to use the taser. They were to ones who requested the officers assistance.
Patricia


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#5
JediSkipdogg

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I would like to know why the medics did not tell the officers not to use the taser. They were to ones who requested the officers assistance.


Medics cannot tell the police what to do. In a police/fire/EMT situation the medics take priority 1 until their safety becomes an issue and then police take charge until the safety is resolved. If a person person has a knife in their chest and they reach for the knife and there's no signs of another person sticking that knife in them, it's a police situation no matter how extreme it is until the police get the person restrained where the medics can safely take over.

●Police Dispatcher
●Type 1 diabetic since 11 months old
●Pumper since December of 2002
~Animas IR 1000 (Dec. 2002 - Jan. 2005)
~Animas IR 1200 (Jan. 2005 - Jan. 2009)
~Cozmo 1800 (Jan. 2009 - ?)
●Dexcom Seven+ (Aug 1, 2009 - Oct 31, 2012)
●Dexcom G4 (Nov 1, 2012 - ???)

 

Diabetes is an Art, NOT a Science. You must master the control by skills and not by knowledge alone.


#6
fgummett

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On the face of it this seems very wrong, but I suspect we don't have all the facts... I do know that someone with a hypo can be very violent and uncooperative, the police were obviously called for a reason and with the Wife's agreement (the EMTs felt unable to contain the situation?), they were working in close quarters in a small room with what sounds like a big/powerful man. Perhaps they felt that it was necessary to get this man subdued so they could administer life-saving medication. I've no doubt that with hindsight the situation should have been handled in a different way and I hope the Police and Medics take that to heart and learn from this.

#7
notme

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Glad the poor guy doesn't remember anything. Seems like someone got scared of this guy or fed up with his bad behavior. Either way, it was definitely over-kill. Sheesh.....
RIP My beautiful boy.

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Nancy


“I don't expect everything to be handed to me. Just set it down anywhere.”.




diagnosed type 1 October 1986
currently using Medtronic MiniMed
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#8
Injecto

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Sounds like Canadian police need some more protocols.


I highly doubt it's "Canadian" police as we have differing levels (City police, regional police, provincial police, federal police RCMP). And even then each division might be very different...

#9
xMenace

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I don't understand why they tried to give him an IV. Don't they carry glucagon? Jab him and run!

Virginia Woolf: “Consider how common illness is, how tremendous the spiritual change that it brings, how astonishing, when the lights of health go down, the undiscovered countries that are then disclosed, what wastes and deserts of the soul a slight attack of influenza brings to view, what precipices and lawns sprinkled with bright flowers a little rise of temperature reveals, what ancient and obdurate oaks are uprooted in us by the act of sickness, how we go down in the pit of death and feel the waters of annihilation close above our heads and wake thinking to find ourselves in the presence of the angels and the harpers when we have a tooth out and come to the surface in the dentist's arm-chair and confuse his "Rinse the mouth-rinse the mouth" with the greeting of the Deity stooping from the floor of Heaven to welcome us - when we think of this, as we are so frequently forced to think of it, it becomes strange indeed that illness has not taken its place with love and battle and jealousy among the prime themes of literature”
Back on MDI and doing well. Trying Victoza and loving it. A1C 6.0, no major hypos; a few highs; lots of shots. Diagnosed Oct 19th, 1975.
HDL-101; LDL-64; TG-36; TOT-172


#10
genie86333

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Obviously it's a lack of communiction.

Either EMS didn't notify the PD as to the nature of the problem, or the officers weren't aware of the man's mental status from the low. If they had been aware, the officer would have known that the warnings were not going to work & unneccessary. A warning obviously isn't going to work if the person is unable to comprehend/react to it, as this man probably wasn't being that he was so low. AND, if the officer knew that, the taser probably wouldn't have even come into play.

Either way, if EMS was there, as soon as the taser was mentioned, they should have made sure the officer realized the man was combative as a result of his medical state, not because he was just being a jerk!

#11
SuzySushi

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Unfortunately, this is the second such case I've read about in as many days. In The Detroit Free Press (September 22, 2008) -- Wife: Diabetic man mistaken for drunken driver and beaten | Freep.com | Detroit Free Press -- there was an article about a diabetic man being mistaken for a drunken driver and and brutally beaten to the point that he had to have part of his brain surgically removed due to swelling. The incident happened in June and he's still in a coma.

We really need to band together and speak up to get the American Diabetes Association, the Canadian Diabetes Association, and other groups to educate our law enforcement officers about diabetes before other tragic incidents occur!!!

#12
HollyB

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We actually do need better protocols for tasering in Canada, at least there's been a lot of talk about it in Ontario. There was another terrible incident where some poor guy who didn't speak English and had an anxiety disorder or something arrived at the airport where his mom was to meet him, but she wasn't in the right place and nobody helped him. He waited around for hours and hours and finally freaked... and then they tasered him.

We've also had a couple of people die from heart attacks induced by tasers, and there is a big review of taser protocol going on in Ontario.

This is one of my secret fears about my son ... that he goes low on his own somewhere and the cops see a young agitated drunk uncooprative man in a hoody and jump to the wrong conclusion and beat him up!
Holly
Mom to Aaron, 17, Type 1 Sept. 05

#13
owlyn

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No one is more surpised than I at what I am about to write, but...

I think the police did the right thing. The man's life was in danger, and they couldn't subdue him enough to save his life. What are they supposed to do? Say, "Oh well, sorry, Mrs., but we're going to have to let him die because we can't control him and he won't listen to reason" and walk away? What's worse, tasering him to save his life, or not tasering him and having him die? If that happened, you would be all over the police: "Why didn't they taser him or something?"

I hope they taser me if I get in his situation.
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#14
GretchO

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I don't understand why they tried to give him an IV. Don't they carry glucagon? Jab him and run!


My thoughts exactly. I've been glucagon-ed when combative (obviously not like a 200+ lb man), and I imagine it feels better than being tasered.
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#15
xMenace

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My thoughts exactly. I've been glucagon-ed when combative (obviously not like a 200+ lb man), and I imagine it feels better than being tasered.


Next time I get 911'd, I'll ask them ;)

Virginia Woolf: “Consider how common illness is, how tremendous the spiritual change that it brings, how astonishing, when the lights of health go down, the undiscovered countries that are then disclosed, what wastes and deserts of the soul a slight attack of influenza brings to view, what precipices and lawns sprinkled with bright flowers a little rise of temperature reveals, what ancient and obdurate oaks are uprooted in us by the act of sickness, how we go down in the pit of death and feel the waters of annihilation close above our heads and wake thinking to find ourselves in the presence of the angels and the harpers when we have a tooth out and come to the surface in the dentist's arm-chair and confuse his "Rinse the mouth-rinse the mouth" with the greeting of the Deity stooping from the floor of Heaven to welcome us - when we think of this, as we are so frequently forced to think of it, it becomes strange indeed that illness has not taken its place with love and battle and jealousy among the prime themes of literature”
Back on MDI and doing well. Trying Victoza and loving it. A1C 6.0, no major hypos; a few highs; lots of shots. Diagnosed Oct 19th, 1975.
HDL-101; LDL-64; TG-36; TOT-172


#16
notme

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If they had already given the guy glucagon, there was no reason to taser. It was just a waiting game with some angry moments thrown in. I don't think I would sue, since I wouldn't remember anyhow. But, I do think there should be a bit more training with diabetes behavior when low.
RIP My beautiful boy.

maxwellsmiles1.jpg



Nancy


“I don't expect everything to be handed to me. Just set it down anywhere.”.




diagnosed type 1 October 1986
currently using Medtronic MiniMed
Revel 723 with CGMS
CLEAR [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]

#17
JediSkipdogg

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No one is more surpised than I at what I am about to write, but...

I think the police did the right thing. The man's life was in danger, and they couldn't subdue him enough to save his life. What are they supposed to do? Say, "Oh well, sorry, Mrs., but we're going to have to let him die because we can't control him and he won't listen to reason" and walk away? What's worse, tasering him to save his life, or not tasering him and having him die? If that happened, you would be all over the police: "Why didn't they taser him or something?"

I hope they taser me if I get in his situation.


I kinda have to agree with that. If the subject was so combative they couldn't safely give him the glucagon shot then they did what they had to do. A tasing will stop a person from doing everything, enough that police can easily subdue a person.

My thoughts exactly. I've been glucagon-ed when combative (obviously not like a 200+ lb man), and I imagine it feels better than being tasered.


This will all depend on department policy. It could also be that the subject was dehydrated and they needed to rehydrate him. That we may not know. Some departments require anytime medication is given to make sure that the person has enough fluids in them so the medication can make it throughout the body in a faster manner.

●Police Dispatcher
●Type 1 diabetic since 11 months old
●Pumper since December of 2002
~Animas IR 1000 (Dec. 2002 - Jan. 2005)
~Animas IR 1200 (Jan. 2005 - Jan. 2009)
~Cozmo 1800 (Jan. 2009 - ?)
●Dexcom Seven+ (Aug 1, 2009 - Oct 31, 2012)
●Dexcom G4 (Nov 1, 2012 - ???)

 

Diabetes is an Art, NOT a Science. You must master the control by skills and not by knowledge alone.


#18
volleyball

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I guess the cops got scared when the guy lifted one of them with his legs off the floor. They gave a big guy a very quick lowest power zap. It did the trick and he doesn't even remember it, he was that far out of it. I've been zapped with high voltage a few times and seen many a taser demo. I would put it the same league.
We all can second guess what happened.We were not there.
Diabetes is a condition that you have to manage or it will manage you. The care team is only there in a supporting role

#19
sable_032592

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the taser laws in canada are much more loose than those in the states... my mother said she would have sued the police department, because a few years back i had a low of around the same level (1mmol/L or 18mg/dl) and the paramedics did call the cops, but i wasn't tasered and i was over 240 at the time, and i know i was moving around and fighting back...

i can't say i would sue since really, no harm was really done, but i would have brought him to the hospital for legal documentation in the event that this incident leads to some damage later on...

canadians have a tendency to not sue when things like this happen...
sable,
type 1 diabetes since march 25th, 1992

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