Excited DeliriumMain article: Excited delirium See also: Taser safety issues
Some of the deaths associated with tasers are given a diagnosis of excited delirium, a term for a phenomenon that manifests as a combination of delirium, psychomotor agitation, anxiety, hallucinations, speech disturbances, disorientation, violent and bizarre behavior, insensitivity to pain, elevated body temperature, and increased strength. Excited delirium is associated with sudden death (usually via cardiac or respiratory arrest) particularly following the use of physical control measures, including police restraint and tasers. Excited delirium most commonly arises in male subjects with a history of serious mental illness and/or acute or chronic drug abuse, particularly stimulant drugs such as cocaine. Alcohol withdrawal or head trauma may also contribute to the condition.
The diagnosis of excited delirium has been controversial. Excited delirium has been listed as a cause of death by some medical examiners for several years, mainly as a diagnosis of exclusion established on autopsy. Additionally, academic discussion of excited delirium has been largely confined to forensic science literature, providing limited documentation about patients that survive the condition. These circumstances have lead some civil liberties groups to question the cause of death diagnosis, claiming that excited delirium has been used to "excuse and exonerate" law enforcement authorities following the death of detained subjects, a possible "conspiracy or cover-up for brutality" when restraining agitated individuals. Also contributing to the controversy is the role of taser use in excited delirium deaths.
Excited delirium is not found in the current version of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, however the term "excited delirium" has been accepted by the National Association of Medical Examiners and the American College of Emergency Physicians, who argued in a 2009 white paper that "excited delirium" may be described by several codes within the ICD-9. The American College of Emergency Physicians "rejects the theory" that excited delirium is an "invented syndrome" used to excuse or cover-up the use of excessive force by law enforcement.
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Other articles related to "excited delirium, delirium":
... See also Excited delirium Critics of taser use, however, argue that "excited delirium" is not a valid medical term and is not listed in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders ...
... a condition described by RCMP informally as “excited delirium.” A statement from TASER International, the company that makes the weapon, asserts that Dziekański's death "appears to follow the pattern of ... low-energy electrical discharge of the Taser." Critics, however, point out that "excited delirium" is not recognized in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders ... While some psychologists argue that excited delirium is indeed a bona fide but rare condition that can cause sudden death, experts say that delirium (without ...
... Some civil-rights groups argue that excited delirium diagnoses are being used to absolve law enforcement of guilt in cases where alleged excessive force may have contributed to ... In 2003, the NAACP argued that excited delirium is used to explain the deaths of minorities more often than whites ... Eric Balaban of the American Civil Liberties Union argued in 2007 that excited delirium was not recognized by the American Medical Association or the American Psychological Association ...
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