ATK: Pepper spray can have deadly effect on asthma sufferers

The Council of Forensic Medicine (ATK) has declared that when pepper spray is used against those suffering from asthma it can have life-threatening effects, a daily reported on Thursday. Upon a January request from the Yalova High Criminal Court, which is overseeing the case of a 31-year-old man who died after being exposed to pepper spray used by the police, the ATK conducted a study of whether or not pepper spray can be deadly for asthma patients. In 2012, andcayan Birben was allegedly attempting to separate a group of people fighting in the middle of a street. A police unit arrived on the scene and used pepper spray to disperse the crowd. Birben, who had asthma and who had previously experienced panic attacks, fainted at the scene of the incident after pepper spray was used and was immediately taken to Yalova State Hospital where he later died. According to the Radikal daily on Thursday, the ATK Fifth Specialized Board report on the effects of pepper spray concluded that it can have life-threatening effects on an individual exposed to the spray, depending on the level of illness he or she is suffering from.
The report further states that patients suffering from asthma or cardiovascular illnesses are particularly vulnerable to the unpleasant effects of pepper spray due to the ingredients capsaicin and oleoresin capsicum. Speaking to Radikal, Birbenand’s lawyer Sabri Kuikonmaz said that the police officers who sprayed his client with pepper spray should be punished. and”This report [of the ATK] openly states that pepper spray becomes deadly if [an individual] suffers from [certain] illnesses,and” said Kuikonmaz.
Eyewitnesses to the fight stated that Birben told police officers that he suffered from asthma and asked them to not use pepper spray. Dr. Emrah Uludai, from Yalova State Hospital, told reporters at the time that Birben had died due to the pepper spray, which caused a panic attack and abnormally high blood pressure.


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