Taser Policies

  1. For the correctional nurses who work in facilities where they don't have ER's, what is your policy regarding the treatment of IM's who are tazed by PD?? We are currently questioning use (and cost) of contract hospital after tazing in the field. We are seeing the ER looking at the IM, perhaps putting TAO ointment on contact burn, or puncture site and sending them to jail. (and billing us $$$$$$$$$$)Granted, if the IM is bleeding, has an obvious fracture, or is capable of relaying a history of cardiac problems, they are treated for this, but, we are looking at the possibility of having the IM seen by our RN's, who have the choice of sending them to the hospital, or not. (and we also know our IM's develope numerous problems AFTER they are here for hours and we can triage them out at that time) We understand that in the field, the IM usually doesn't fall 'gently' to the ground, or have their fall cushioned by a bush, but there are a high percentage who seem to be on the ground already, (under an object or such) and who don't have the risk of fracture. The 'powers that be' are divided on the routine use of the ER first. While we realize the liability of tasers, as well as the lawsuit mentality of America, we would have to totally body scan, cardiac workup, labs, etc on EVERY IM they see, just so we can cover ourselves IF the IM sues. Plus, I was informed yesterday, that most IM give up the legal battle first, but that the lawyers for the mfg. of the tasers have a 52-0 success rate in defending the product. We know that IM are guaranteed medical treatment under the Constitution, but, how far do we take it? Other cities have such different policies, it doesn't seem that there is a 'Standard of Care" that we can refer to. Thanks everyone.
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    About JailRN

    Joined: Jun '02; Posts: 620; Likes: 86
    Specialty: correctional, psych, ICU, CCU, ER