Thursday, November 15, 2018

Quoting "liberal commentator" Bill Maher, my brother Phil Heimlich says his fellow Evangelical Christians' support for President Trump "exposes us as the shameless hypocrites we've always been." [UPDATED]

Here's the run up...

Via Heimlich maneuvers to 'radical middle' by Jason Williams, Cincinnati Enquirer, January 14, 2017: 
Phil Heimlich was the politician he's come to despise.

"I regret not showing more courage," he told Politics Extra.

It's a harsh reality Heimlich has come to grips with since he left public office 10 years ago this month.

...Heimlich, 64, has never come back to politics since that bruising and brutally expensive 2006 loss to Democrat David Pepper in the commissioner's race. Heimlich has no plans to come back, but the Republican still loves to talk politics.
Heimlich: Come on fellow Republicans, do something about Trump, Cincinnati Enquirer, June 28, 2017.

Heimlich: Republicans are sabotaging Obamacare, Cincinnati Enquirer, July 27, 2017.

Republican Heimlich: Why I am voting for Democrats this year, Cincinnati Enquirer, June 14, 2018.

Former Republican county commissioner (Phil Heimlich) blasts (Republican Congressman Steve) Chabot as he endorses Democrat (Aftab) Pureval by Chris Wetterich, Cincinnati Business Courier, October 11, 2018.

...and here's the coup de grĂ¢ce.

Clip from 'He can stop everything': Hundreds rally against Trump's new AG, fear Russia probe in jeopardy by Max Londberg, Cincinnati Enquirer, November 8, 2018:


Phil: Just to fully give you my kind of priorities. I'm also what you'd call an Evangelical. I'm a Christ follower. But...and I got something to say to my fellow Evangelicals. And I'll quote the words of a commentator, a liberal commentator. But I'll quote him but it's true. What he said was, and I agree, "Our support for Donald Trump exposes us as the shameless hypocrites we've always been."

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11/16/18 UPDATE: Hat tip to an attentive reader who informed me that in 2009 Maher was the recipient of the Atheist Alliance of America's Richard Dawkins Award.

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Sunday, November 11, 2018

Western NY schools superintendent blocks employees, board members from communicating with me re: purchase of controversial anti-choking device, so I've asked the state education commissioner for guidance

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A couple weeks ago I blogged, Olean, NY-area* school principal arranged purchase, installation, staff training of controversial anti-choking plunger device -- has he also received sales commissions?

In response to my subsequent reporting, a few days ago Tony Giannicchi, the district's superintendent of schools sent me a two-page letter that included:
Please be advised that District employees and Board members will not respond to any further communication from you, with the exception of requests for (public records)... 

That put me in a bind.

Here's why.

Via Dechokers at A-L expected to keep kids safe by staff reporter Kate Day Sager, Olean Times Herald, October 5, 2018:
(Tim) Hite, a professional firefighter, now promotes the Dechoker life-saving medical device which is used to suction objects from the airways of toddlers, children and adults.

Recently, Hite sold several sets of the Dechokers to the Allegany-Limestone Central School District, the first school district in the state to purchase the items.
Per a letter I received about three years ago, it's unclear if the Dechoker is approved by the New York State Department of Education.

From the same Times Herald article:
(Allegany-Limestone) Middle-High School Principal Cory Pecorella said the school district purchased two packages of the suction devices for each of the campuses.

...Pecorella said he learned of the device from Hite, whom he serves with in the Allegany Volunteer Fire Department.

“(Hite) contacted me and wanted to demonstrate the product for us,” Pecorella said. “We bought right into it.
Per my blog, it's unclear if Mr. Pecorella and Mr. Hite have a business relationship.

Finally, according to this recent interview conducted by reporter Amanda Gilbert (KWWL-TV, the Waterloo, IA NBC affiliate) with David Stilley MD, Medical Director at Iowa Department of Public Health Bureau of Emergency and Trauma Services, the Dechoker is of unproven benefit and safety.



(The interview was conducted for her May 31, 2018 report, Heimlich alternative? KWWL investigates new medical device offered to Iowa school.)

Those concerns seemed like reasonable grounds on which to request an investigation in order to determine if the Allegany-Limestone school's purchase and implementation of the devices was in compliance with applicable guidelines.

My problem? I don't know the appropriate office where to file that and per Superintendent Giannicchi's letter, if I ask him or another district employee or the school board how to proceed, they're prohibited from responding.

The only option I could think of was to request guidance from New York State Commissioner of Education MaryEllen Elia -- see below. (Click here to download a copy.)

If/when I receive a reply, I'll report the results.



* My original headline began "Olean, NY school principal..." H/T to a knowledgeable reader who informed me "Allegany-Limestone Central Schools are not Olean schools. The two districts abut each other, but are separate," so I changed to "Olean, NY-area."

Thursday, November 1, 2018

Chronological compilation of mainstream media reports about the Dechoker anti-choking device


 Dechoker promo video featuring internist Randall L. Snook MD of Lone Tree, CO

If I've missed any, please e-mail links to Peter.Heimlich@gmail.com.

Game-changer: Dechoker medical device could end deaths by choking by Melissa Chipman, Insider Louisville October 22, 2015.

FDA approves new lifesaving device based out of Louisville by Ann Bowdan, WLKY-TV, October 30, 2015.

Space age to beat baldness: Health gadgets just got madder than ever... but do any actually work? by Jinan Harb, Daily Mail (UK), February 22, 2016.

Can New Devices Match Heimlich to Stop Choking? LifeVac and Dechoker pose alternative to abdominal thrusts by Laura Johannes, Wall Street Journal, July 11, 2016.

Anti-choking devices give piece of mind but don't replace Heimlich Maneuver by Liz Harrison, ABC30 News (Fresno, CA), September 27, 2016.

Brackley man advocates ‘de-choking’ device for all nurseries and schools as alternative to back slaps by Tim Redigolo, Northampton Chronicle & Echo, March 24, 2017.

Anti-choking device business raided, accused of investment scheme by investigative reporter Matthew Grant, FOX46-TV News, Charlotte, NC, March 12, 2018.

'Dechoker' anti-choking device claims to save lives but has never been tested on humans by investigative reporter Jackie Callaway, WFTS-TV News, Tampa, FL, May 21, 2018.

Heimlich alternative? KWWL investigates new medical device offered to Iowa school by Amanda Gilbert, KWWL-TV News, Waterloo, IA, May 31, 2018; click here for the video.

Northampton care home staff save residents' life after he started choking by Carly Roberts, Northampton Chronicle & Echo, June 15, 2018.

Dechokers at A-L expected to keep kids safe by Kate Day Sager, Olean Times Herald, October 5, 2018.

Heimlich’s son questions Dechoker products in A-L schools by Kate Day Sager, Olean (NY) Times Herald, November 1, 2018.

Friday, October 26, 2018

Olean, NY-area* school principal arranged purchase, installation, staff training of controversial anti-choking plunger device -- has he also received sales commissions? [UPDATE: Responses from NY State Sen. Catharine Young & Assemblyman Joseph Giglio]

UPDATE, 10/29/18: Per my item below, in an 8/24/18 e-mail, Olean, NY fireman/Dechoker vendor Timothy Hite claimed he had an 8/30/18 meeting scheduled with NY State Sen. Catharine Young & Assemblyman Joseph Giglio "to start writing legislation to make it mandatory for all eatery areas to have a Dechoker (anti-choking plunger device), kind of like NY did for first aid and CPR." 

In response to my inquiries, today Sen. Young's spokesman John Eberth left me a voice message and Assemblyman Giglio sent me an e-mail. Both confirmed the meeting took place but that no legislation is pending.
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Via Dechokers at A-L expected to keep kids safe by staff reporter Kate Day Sager, Olean Times Herald, October 5, 2018:
(Tim) Hite, a professional firefighter, now promotes the Dechoker life-saving medical device which is used to suction objects from the airways of toddlers, children and adults.

Recently, Hite sold several sets of the Dechokers to the Allegany-Limestone Central School District, the first school district in the state to purchase the items.

Middle-High School Principal Cory Pecorella said the school district purchased two packages of the suction devices for each of the campuses. Each package contains three Dechokers in adult, youth and toddler sizes. The packages will be kept in the nurse’s office and the cafeteria.

...“What it does is it replaces the abdominal thrust” which was previously referred to as the Heimlich maneuver, Hite explained. “It creates a negative pressure in the mouth area as you pull back and it forces the object out in reverse.”

...Pecorella said he learned of the device from Hite, whom he serves with in the Allegany Volunteer Fire Department.

“(Hite) contacted me and wanted to demonstrate the product for us,” Pecorella said. “We bought right into it. We have something that’s going to keep our kids safe and a better way to locate an object in someone’s throat.”
Pecorella sad he or Hite will train the faculty and staff how to use the items.


Along with some other quick questions I sent yesterday, per these e-mails I obtained via a public records request, I asked principal Pecorella if he'd received any commissions selling the Dechoker.

 

I also asked whether he'd seen any of these media reports about the Dechoker, published months before he arranged purchase of the devices.

Can New Devices Match Heimlich to Stop Choking? LifeVac and Dechoker pose alternative to abdominal thrusts -- LifeVac and Dechoker pose alternative to abdominal thrusts by Laura Johannes, Wall Street Journal, July 11, 2016.

Anti-choking device business raided, accused of investment scheme by investigative reporter Matthew Grant, FOX46-TV News, Charlotte, NC, March 12, 2018.

'Dechoker' anti-choking device claims to save lives but has never been tested on humans by Jackie Callaway, WFTS-TV News, Tampa, FL, May 21, 2018.

Heimlich alternative? KWWL investigates new medical device offered to Iowa school by Amanda Gilbert, KWWL-TV News, Waterloo, IA, May 31, 2018; click here for the video.

Also from Ms. Sager's Times Herald article:
Tim Hite remembers a time when he tried to help a man who was choking on a sandwich, but couldn’t save him...During one incident in his hometown of Camden, he and other emergency personnel couldn’t help an older individual who was choking. The man, who was disabled, had tried to eat two peanut butter sandwiches at once, causing him to choke.

By the time we got to him, he was already in cardiac arrest” and died, he lamented.

..."(The) Cattaraugus County Sheriff’s Office has a first aid kit with an adult size (Dechoker) in it at their dispatch center.”
Yesterday I sent some quick questions to Mr. Hite asking for more details about the choking death and the placement of the Dechoker in the Sheriff's dispatch office.

Per Mr. Hite's August 24 e-mail (copied above) I'm also curious about his meeting with New York State Senator Catharine Young and New York State Assemblyman Joseph Giglio, so I'll inquire about that.

I'll report the results of my inquiries in a future item.

Via my records request to the school district, here are price quotes for the Dechokers from Mr. Hite's company, C3 Safety Products LLC:

* My original headline began "Olean, NY school principal..." H/T to a knowledgeable reader who informed me "Allegany-Limestone Central Schools are not Olean schools. The two districts abut each other, but are separate," so I changed to "Olean, NY-area." 

Sunday, October 7, 2018

Deja vu all over again? Another UK paper -- the Northampton Chronicle & Echo -- disappeared another iffy choking rescue story so I've filed another IPSO complaint


Last month IMediaEthics published a solid report by ace reporter Sydney Smith about how in January a couple of leading UK newspapers published -- but then promptly "disappeared" -- a bogus choking rescue story and how my efforts resulted in both papers cleaning up the mess.

One of papers (the MailOnline) held out for eight months(!) and only agreed to address the problem after I filed a complaint with UK's Independent Press Standards Organisation.

Via IPSO's website:
We hold newspapers and magazines to account for their actions, protect individual rights, uphold high standards of journalism and help to maintain freedom of expression for the press.
In what may be a journalism first, today I filed another IPSO complaint against another UK newspaper which "disappeared" another article about another questionable choking rescue.

This one involves a controversial anti-choking plunger called the Dechoker. As it happens, the company's UK distributor claims that since the beginning of the year, this unapproved experimental  gadget has saved the lives of six -- I repeat, six -- elderly choking victims in nursing homes around the country.

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Independent Press Standards Organisation (IPSO)
Gate House
1 Farringdon Street
London
EC4M 7LG

To whom it may concern:

This is to request that your agency investigate IPSO member organization the Northampton Chronicle & Echo for publishing and subsequently scrubbing an online news report after being informed that the story was problematic and possibly a hoax. Almost four months since publication and three months after the paper's editor claimed he had initiated an investigation, the article is still missing from the paper's website.

On 15 June 2018, Northampton care home staff save residents' [sic] life after he started choking by staff reporter Carly Roberts was published on the paper's website. Here's the complete text:
An Airway Clearance Device (ACD) made by a Northampton-based business has helped to save a second care home resident from choking to death.

Resident at Timken Grange care home in Duston, Bryan Kett, 87, was enjoying lunch when he began to choke on a piece of food, which had become stuck in his airway.

Care staff immediately stepped in to assist, and when the obstruction proved firmly stuck, they reached for their Dechoker. Within moments the piece of food had been removed and the resident recovered almost immediately.

“Choking is responsible for around six care home deaths every month,” said Matt Oakley, director at Dechoker UK. “We are both pleased and proud that once again Dechoker has been shown to be effective in a choking emergency.”

The home has Dechoker devices on every floor with their care teams comprehensively trained both how and when to use them.

The product resembles a large syringe attached to a gas mask. It is placed over their mouth and the operator then pulls the suction pump, creating a vacuum and extracting the item from their throat in a short time.

Staff at Dechoker say the effects of a choking death are far-reaching. Initially, there will be an emotional impact on the other residents and staff having to have dealt with and witnessed a very traumatic incident.

Choking is regarded as an unexpected death and as such there will be a Coroner’s investigation, which often takes many months. Not forgetting, throughout this entire process the family and friends of the resident are having to come to terms with both the cause of death and the ongoing implications as a result.

Timken Grange Home manager Rachel Cadd said: "We are delighted that our carers have been trained and are comfortable with using the Dechoker.

"We are confident that we would not hesitate in using the device again should the occasion arise.”
Based on my research/reporting and a string of investigative reports by U.S. journalists* about the Dechoker device -- which were published online before Ms. Roberts' story and which she could have easily located -- I had serious questions about the accuracy and competency of her reporting, so on 22 June I e-mailed her an inquiry and copied editor David Summers. I didn't receive a reply so on 25 June I re-sent my inquiry.

I didn't receive a reply to that either, so I sent a 19 July inquiry to Mr. Summers detailing some of my concerns:
Among other information missing from Ms. Roberts' poorly-reported article: the date of the alleged incident and what type of food the victim allegedly choked on; the names of the alleged rescuers and any eyewitnesses; quotes from the alleged rescuers, from Bryan Kett or from any members of his family or his legal guardian; whether or not Mr. Kett received subsequent medical care and the name of his attending physician; and no information about the case of the first care home patient allegedly saved from choking to death by the device.

I've made best efforts to verify the above information, including: multiple inquiries to Ms. Roberts (on which you were copied, see below my signature); inquiries to executives at Timken Grange and to Matt Oakley.

No replies were received from Ms. Roberts or from the Timken Grange executives. Mr. Oakley refused to provide any information about the reported incident and would not even provide me with the name(s) of the Timken Grange employee(s) who informed him about the alleged incident. Further, it's unclear if Mr. Oakley ever attempted to verify any of the facts or interviewed anyone associated with the case.

Further, multiple attempts to contact Bryan Kett, members of his family, and his legal representative were unsuccessful. Further, employees at Timken Grange would not even confirm that they have a resident named Bryan Kett.

Long story short, I haven't been able to obtain any substantiating evidence that the incident your paper reported took place. And based on Ms. Roberts' incompetent reporting, how can your readers be certain that she didn't get punk'd?
I didn't receive a reply so I sent him a 23 July follow up to which I received a polite same-day reply.

As I was preparing to respond to that, I discovered that sometime between 19 July and 23 July, Ms. Roberts' article had been scrubbed from the paper's website and the URL at which it was posted now redirected to the paper's home page https://www.northamptonchron.co.uk/news/northampton-care-home-staff-save-residents-life-after-he-started-choking-1-8536207 I included that information in my 23 July reply to Mr. Summers.

In his next-day reply, without explanation Mr. Summers claimed he was "not in a position" to do any fact-checking of the story and that, "In relation to the article no longer appearing online, it is standard practice to remove articles, as a neutral act, while investigations are carried out." Copies of our e-mails are posted here http://tinyurl.com/ycppohjy

Since then I've provided Mr. Summers with considerable related information, including this 23 September 2018 investigation request I filed with the Care Quality Commission (CQC) and the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) http://tinyurl.com/y7o3cx4p According to all published information about the alleged choking rescue at Timken Grange, staff violated this 30 August 2017 MHRA directive re: the acceptable use of the device http://tinyurl.com/y7d9yn3r

In my opinion, the information I provided to Mr. Summers -- which included the investigative reports copied below my signature -- would persuade any responsible journalist to take a closer look at the case. At minimum, why wouldn't he at least attempt to verify whether or not Timken Grange actually has a resident named Bryan Kett?

Instead -- and this appears to be the extent of Mr. Summers' "investigation" -- he sent me a Timken Grange press release which was the basis of Ms. Roberts's 15 June 2018 report.

But even that's problematic. The press release -- issued by Sian Ellis, marketing Director at Oakdale Care Group, Timken Grange's parent corporation -- is dated 6 July 2018, three weeks after Ms. Roberts' article was published.

I received no indication that Mr. Summers or any other Chronicle & Echo staffer asked Ms. Ellis for any further information. On the contrary, the paper seemed determined to avoid obtaining additional information -- a peculiar approach to journalism, to be sure.

I, on the other hand, sent multiple e-mail inquiries to Ms. Ellis last month in an attempt to verify the information she provided to the Chronicle & Echo. (I copied Mr. Summers.) Despite receiving multiple confirmations of receipt, I didn't receive any responses http://tinyurl.com/y98meses

In any event, Ms. Roberts' article is still M.I.A., but I've attached a pdf copy. Here's a link to direct download a copy http://tinyurl.com/y9zp4zhg

It's unclear what's going on at Timken Grange and the Chronicle & Echo -- Ms. Roberts and Mr. Summers certainly don't seem inclined to find out -- but perhaps filing this complaint with your agency will produce more information.

Thanks for your time/consideration and I look forward to your reply. If you require any additional information and/or records I might be able to provide, please don't hesitate to ask.

Sincerely,

Peter M. Heimlich
REDACTED
Peachtree Corners, GA 30096 USA
ph: (208)474-7283
website: http://medfraud.info
blog: http://the-sidebar.com
e-mail: peter.heimlich@gmail.com
Twitter: @medfraud_pmh
bio: http://tinyurl.com/ych7o7dr

* 12 March 2018: Anti-choking device business raided, accused of investment scheme by Matthew Grant, 12 March 2018, FOX46 Charlotte North Carolina http://tinyurl.com/yd6tydmn

26 March 2018: "Growing pains" for company selling anti-choking device? NC state "investment scheme" investigation & three debt collection lawsuits, one filed by former top executive, The Sidebar (my blog), http://www.the-sidebar.com/2018/03/growing-pains-for-company-selling-anti.html

21 May 2018: 'Dechoker' anti-choking device claims to save lives but has never been tested on humans by Jackie Callaway, ABC Tampa Florida http://tinyurl.com/y9g5x8vu

31 May 2018: Heimlich alternative? KWWL investigates new medical device offered to Iowa school by Amanda Gilbert, 31 May 2018, NBC Waterloo Iowa: http://tinyurl.com/ydbz2xkr Complete interview with Iowa State EMS Director David Stilley MD https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eczgssoPF9g

Friday, September 28, 2018

VIOLENCE INVOLVING FIREARMS: Week 3 of my midterm Georgia 7th District "constituent journalism" Q&A with my candidates for Congress, Rep. Rob Woodall (R) and challenger Carolyn Bourdeaux (D) [UPDATE: Why this was my last Q&A in the series]

11/7/18 UPDATE: I live in Georgia's 7th Congressional district, a suburb northeast of Atlanta. In September 2018, as a journalism experiment I began conducting a constituent Q&A with incumbent Rob Woodall (R) and challenger Carolyn Bourdeaux (D), providing both candidates with a weekly opportunity to share their positions on issues of concern to thoughtful voters.

Congressman Woodall's representative Derick Corbett declined to participate and he failed to respond to my subsequent weekly questions. Jake Best, Ms. Bourdeaux's communications director, enthusiastically agree to participate.

After three weeks of posts, Mr. Best missed our agreed-upon deadline and asked to change the frequency from once a week to every other week to which I agreed. He also agreed to respond to my fourth inquiry (dated September 30) requesting Ms. Bourdeaux's position on the Violence Against Women Act.

Despite repeated friendly e-nudges from me, I never received any further correspondence from the Bourdeaux campaign, so I ended my experiment.

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This item is the third of the weekly Q&A series I'm conducting with candidates for the 2018 Georgia 7th Congressional District (where I live and vote), incumbent Rep. Rob Woodall (R) and his challenger.for the seat, Carolyn Bourdeaux (D).

Last week Congressman Woodall went first, so this week is Ms. Bourdeaux's turn.

source

Q: Citizens of good will across the political spectrum are concerned about violence involving firearms. Do you consider the problem to be serious and, if so, how serious? What solutions if any would you attempt to implement in order to address the problem?

BOURDEAUX: Gun violence is a major problem across our country, and it is one where I believe we can implement common-sense solutions supported by the vast majority of Americans.

To begin, I grew up around guns. My father owned a gun. My grandmother shot squirrels off her bird-feeder from her upstairs porch with a bb gun. My grandfather passed on to my uncle a wonderful historic gun collection, and many members of my family are hunters. But we were taught from an early age that guns are weapons, and owning a gun is a serious responsibility – it’s time that our country recognize this as well. I have spoken with Democrats, Republicans, and Independents on this issue, and I see common-ground.

Most of us agree that we need to ensure universal, comprehensive background checks with mandatory waiting periods. We need to close the gun show loophole. We must ban bump stocks, restrict civilian access to military-style assault weapons, and restrict access to high capacity magazines.

And most of us agree that schools are not the place for guns – our children’s safety must come first, but adding more weapons in schools in not the solution. Our children deserve to live in a world where their biggest worry is studying for a math test, not whether or not they'll live through the week or watch classmates and teachers die in front of them. These are serious problems, and I believe we can implement these changes and solutions to make our communities safer.



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In response to my invitation to participate in this project, Congressman Rob Woodall's campaign representative Derick Corbett e-mailed me, "I appreciate the generous offer and your zeal to participate in the race. Unfortunately though, as I consider our bandwith and your offer, we have to say no thank you."

I politely replied that the Bourdeaux campaign had agreed to participate; that in the interests of GA 7th District constituents, I hoped he'd reconsider; and that each Monday I'd send him my questions. (Our correspondence is posted here.)

Re: this week's question, I sent multiple e-mails and a fax with my question (for which I obtained confirmation of receipt) to Congressman Woodall and to Mr. Corbett. For the third week in a row, I didn't receive a reply.

Sunday, September 23, 2018

Is a UK nursing home chain using unwitting residents to test a controversial, experimental anti-choking device? I've asked two government agencies to investigate [UPDATED 9/27/18]

Screenshot of an article by staff reporter Carly Roberts published June 15, 2018 in the Northampton Chronicle & Echo about the problematic case discussed in my investigation request. The article has since been removed from the paper's website and the article's URL https://www.northamptonchron.co.uk/news/northampton-care-home-staff-save-residents-life-after-he-started-choking-1-8536207 now leads to the paper's home page. Click here to read the article via The Wayback Machine.

UK's Care Quality Commission "(makes) sure health and social care services provide people with safe, effective, compassionate, high-quality care and we encourage care services to improve." The Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency "regulates medicines, medical devices and blood components for transfusion in the UK.:

See below the hash marks for the first page of a five-page investigations request I sent to those agencies today. Click here to download the complete pdf. Click here to view on Scribd.

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Care Quality Commission (CQC)
151 Buckingham Palace Road
London SW1W 9SZ UK
e-mailed to enquiries@cqc.org.uk

Corporate Governance and Accountability
Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA)
10 South Colonnade
London E14 4PU UK
e-mailed to info@mhra.gov.uk

To whom it may concern:

1) According to the CQC website, Timken Grange, Timken Way South, Duston, Northampton NN5 6FR, “provides accommodation for persons who require nursing or personal care, Dementia, Caring for adults over 65 yrs.” According to Timken Grange’s website, the residence is operated and presumably owned by Oakdale Care Group, Oakdale House, Devonshire Avenue, Amersham, Buckinghamshire HP6 5JE.

According to information published by Oakdale Care Group, Timken Grange staff recently used a medical device called the Dechoker on 87-year-old resident Bryan Kett in violation of a 30 August 2017 directive issued by the MHRA re: the recommended use of the device.

2) According to an investigative report aired on 21 May 2018 by ABC Action News (Tampa, Florida), the Dechoker has never been tested on humans and a keyword search of PubMed for Dechoker produced no results. Therefore it appears the device has never been the subject of any research published in the literature.

Further, in a 17 September 2018 e-mail, a representative of the European Resuscitation Council (whose member organizations include the UK Resuscitation Council) wrote me that their organization does not recommend the Dechoker. Other medical experts and organizations including the MHRA have reportedly raised concerns that the device is of unproven effectiveness and safety.

According to information published by Oakdale Care Group, in addition to Timken Grange, the company has installed Dechokers at three other other care homes which they operate and presumably own.[Kingfisher Court (Sutton in Ashfield), Layston Grove (Buntingford), and Westhill Park (Kettering)] Therefore, Oakdale Care Group appears to be using residents at all of their properties as research subjects to test an experimental medical device.

Further, I’m unaware of any evidence that the research being conducted on residents in the four care homes is being overseen by an Institutional Review Board or that residents and/or their legal guardians have provided informed consent. Therefore, Oakdale Care Group may be in violation of UK and international laws protecting vulnerable human subjects used in medical research.

3) This month I sent multiple e-mail inquiries to an Oakdale Care Group executive in which I requested the names of the attending physician(s) at Timken Grange. I also asked how I could relay messages to residents and/or their legal guardians. Despite receiving multiple confirmations of receipt, I received no further communications, therefore I’m concerned that the company is trying to avoid scrutiny of the research and may be holding residents incommunicado.

Therefore I’m requesting that your agencies review these matters and provide me with a determination whether or not Timken Grange and the three other Oakdale Care Group facilities conducting the research on residents are in compliance with all applicable statues and guidelines. Further, this is to request that your agencies contact resident Bryan Kett, his legal guardian, and his attending physician and that you provide each of them with a copy of this letter.

Finally, would you please provide me with the names and contact information of UK government agencies responsible for oversight of medical research using human subjects?

[pages 2-5]

Thank you for your consideration and I look forward to your reply. Please feel free correspond with me via e-mail and if you have any questions I might be able to answer, please don’t hesitate to ask.

Sincerely,

Peter M. Heimlich
[STREET ADDRESS REDACTED]
Peachtree Corners, GA 30096 USA
ph: (208)474-7283
e-mail: Peter.Heimlich@gmail.com
website: http://medfraud.info
blog: http://the-sidebar.com

UPDATES

9/24/18: Hat tip to a prominent UK medical professional who sent me this February 2018 statement by the Resuscitation Council (UK), Does the Resuscitation Council (UK) recommend the use of airway clearance devices (ACD) in the treatment of the choking victim? which I hadn't seen before. I've asked the CQC & MHRA to append my request with the statement.

I also asked both agencies to determine if the Timken Grange care home staffers that used the Dechoker on resident Bryan Kett (according to parent company Oakdale Care Group, Buckinghamshire) possessed the requisite credentials to use the device on him.

9/27/18: I came across this information posted on 25 September 2018 on the website of Dechoker UK https://www.dechokeruk.com/news/6livessaved/
Dechoker prevents 6th Care Home choking death
I've appended my request to the CQC & MHRA and asked them to review the six cases in order to determine if the use of the Dechoker was in compliance with their agencies' guidelines.

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Choking gadgets to suck out the obstruction - a good idea or not?, an April 24, 2018 commentary featuring the Dechoker by first aid trainer and author/speaker Emma Hammett of First Aid For Life.