Q. Electric shock is used to start hearts that have stopped beating. In a pinch would it be possible to start a heart using a stun gun?

A. Doctors use defibrillators to shock a heart out of a life-threatening rhythm. A stun gun is NO substitute for a defibrillator! We consulted two cardiologists who both said this would not work and is a very bad idea.

If you are concerned about needing a defibrillator “in a pinch,” you can purchase an AED (automated external defibrillator). These home models detect life-threatening heart rhythms and use an electrical shock to restart the heart. They usually cost between $1200 and $1700. AEDs are sometimes found in airports and other public spaces.

Join Over 53,000 Subscribers at The People's Pharmacy

Each week we send two free email newsletters with breaking health news, prescription drug information, home remedies and a preview of our award-winning radio show. Join our mailing list and get the information you need to make confident choices about your health.

What Do You Think?

Share your thoughts with others, but be mindful of protecting your own and others' privacy. Not all comments will be posted. Advice from web visitors is not a substitute for medical attention. Do not stop any medicine without checking with the prescriber. In posting a comment, you agree to our commenting policy and website terms and conditions.