Conducted energy device dart removal


  • Conducted Energy Devices (e.g. Tasers) are used by law enforcement to help secure and control individuals
  • Conducted Energy Devices can:
    • Temporarily incapacitate a person
    • Cause serious injury and rarely death


  • History of Conducted Energy Device (CED) deployment with CED probe dart remaining in patient


  • Specialist consultation may be required if dart is embedded in face, neck, groin, or eye

Equipment Needed

  • Trauma shears
  • Gloves
  • Sterile dressing


  1. Ensure CED is longer applying electrical charge prior to contact with patient, darts, or wires
  2. Use trauma shears to cut wire at base of each dart cylinder to disconnect the dart(s) from the CED
    • May cut at longer length and wrap around hand for greater grip
  3. While wearing gloves grasp the cylinder of the dart between thumb and index finger of one hand while stabilizing penetration location by holding skin taut with other hand
  4. Remove dart with a quick, firm pull directed perpendicular to skin surface
  5. Dispose of dart in sharps container as would for any contaminated sharp unless law enforcement requests them as evidence then place in puncture proof specimen cup
  6. Repeat for each embedded dart in patient
  7. Cleanse wound and surrounding skin with saline or alcohol
  8. Cover small puncture wound with sterile dressing
  9. Update tetanus vaccination status of individual -- if not current administer tetanus shot within 72 hours of removal
  10. Give wound care instructions to include that patient should seek medical attention if any signs of infection such as fever, increased pain, redness, warmth, swelling, or purulent discharge develops around one or more of the wounds


  • Immediate - none
  • Delayed - wound infection, tetanus

Documentation Requirements

  • Patient's presenting signs/symptoms, vital signs, and level of consciousness
  • Indications for removal
  • Time of removal
  • Location of dart(s) embedment
  • Findings/results of dart removal
  • Repeat assessment including vital signs, level of consciousness after removal

See Also

External Links