Good point, armorris. Medical cardioversion typically uses fairly high voltage, with extremely low currents (in the mA range). On the surface, the low currents would appear to be benign, but coupled with a high voltage (100 V to 700V, as I understand), it's enough to stop a person's heart and allow it to re-set. So while it's true it doesn't kill the patient, it does stop the heart momentarily. Maybe a reader who designs these devices can weigh in with more (and better) information.
Thanks for the info, AWltom. I'm amazed they did that. I quickly looked on Amazon for a stun gun, saw the 14,000,000 V part number and assumed they were claiming that it was 14 million Volts. It's clearly a marketing ploy, and I'm sure I'm not the only one who made that ssumption.
I did not have my hand up, Rob. The reporter who volunteered also allowed it to be filmed by a crew, and I think he was sorry he did. The Wall Street Journal actually posted it on their web site for awhile, but then they pulled it down, which was a good move. By the way, I have a nephew who's an Oakland police officer, and I believe he had to be tazed as part of his training.
High voltage is definitely dangerous when there is high current available. Ohms Law says that voltage is required to get current to flow through a resistance. You should never disregard a "High Voltage" sign.
A Van De Graaff generator produces a lot of voltage, but with very little available current. A stun gun also produces relatively small current. It can cause paralysis or pain, but produces no harm unless it passes through the heart, causing fibrillation.
At this year's MD&M West show, lots of material suppliers are talking about new formulations for wearables and things that stick to the skin, whether it's adhesives, wound dressings, skin patches and other drug delivery devices, or medical electronics.
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