Ammended-01/18/2015 jh

Reviewed 02/15/16 still suspended


To remove the remaining barb after use of a Taser by Law Enforcement agencies.

Do not remove taser barbs from the face, neck, genitals, or breasts or any barb that may be imbedded in the bone. These patients must be seen at the Emergency Department.

Patients should be in police custody for the safety of medical personnel. Tasers have two barbs, make sure that both are removed. Do not remove barbs that are still attached to the taser.


  1. Perform complete patient assessment.
  2. Cut wires from barb if they are still attached.
  3. Expose the area where the barbs are implanted.
  4. Place a hand in the form of a “V” around the barb to stabilize the patient’s skin, and prevent loose skin from coming up during the removal.
  5. Grasp the barb firmly and quickly pull it out of the patient’s skin.
  6. Assess the site where the barb was pulled. Control any bleeding and dress the wound.
  7. Visually inspect the barbs to make sure that the tip did not break off and remain in patient’s skin.
  8. Contact Med Control if you are unsure whether or not to remove the barbs.


Remember that removing the barbs is not a time critical emergency. Calm and decisive actions by the EMT will deliver the best patient care.

Always assess the patient for any injuries that may have occurred secondary to the tasing.

Fully document your assessment and the removal of the barbs.