Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Six years after the American Heart Association recommends chest thrusts for choking rescue, the story gets reported...sort of

From Life Saving Skills: A New Way to do the Heimlich Maneuver by Maddie Garrett, KATC-TV News, Lafayette, Louisiana, February 8, 2011:
(The) rules on what to do if someone is choking have changed, and there's a new way to do the Heimlich Maneuver...(If) the person choking becomes unconscious, the rules have changed. Instead of pushing up in the abdomen, (Registered Nurse Ella Beth) Goetschius said it's better to perform more like CPR, minus the breaths of air. She said to lay the person on the floor, do 30 chest compressions, then open the mouth and check to for the object.
First, contrary to the report, this information ain't new.

From the 2005 Adult Basic Life Support guidelines published in Circulation, the journal of the American Heart Association (AHA):
Treatment Recommendation
Chest thrusts, back blows/slaps, or abdominal thrusts are effective for relieving FBAO (Foreign Body Airway Obstruction) in conscious adults and children >1 year of age, although injuries have been reported with the abdominal thrust. There is insufficient evidence to determine which should be used first. These techniques should be applied in rapid sequence until the obstruction is relieved; more than one technique may be needed. Unconscious victims should receive CPR. The finger sweep should be used in the unconscious patient with an obstructed airway only if solid material is visible in the airway. There is insufficient evidence for a treatment recommendation for an obese or pregnant patient with FBAO.
Five years later in 2010, the most recent AHA guidelines were near-identical:
Although chest thrusts, back slaps, and abdominal thrusts are feasible and effective for relieving severe FBAO in conscious (responsive) adults and children ≥1 year of age, for simplicity in training it is recommended that abdominal thrusts be applied in rapid sequence until the obstruction is relieved.  If abdominal thrusts are not effective, the rescuer may consider chest thrusts. It is important to note that abdominal thrusts are not recommended for infants <1 year of age because thrusts may cause injuries. 
Second, the guidelines say chest thrusts are recommended as effective for conscious choking victims. For some reason, the TV story only reported that the treatment should be done on unconscious victims.

Confused? Yeah, me too.

But there's one thing I'm reasonably sure of.

Over six years after the AHA began recommending chest trusts as an alternative choking rescue treatment, to my knowledge this is the first TV news story to report the information. 

On the bright side, in Cajun country, KATC viewers have been informed about this potentially lifesaving skill.

At this rate, it's only a matter of decades before the rest of the country gets the news!

Charles W. Guildner MD, July 2011; click here for contact info

Incidentally, the idea that chest thrusts could be effective for choking rescue was introduced in a 1976 published study by Charles W. Guildner MD of Everett, Washington.

Per this 2007 Seattle Public Radio report by Patricia Murphy, Dr. Guildner explained how my father tried to derail his work:
By the time the chest thrust study was published in 1976, Dr. Heimlich had filed complaints against Dr. Guildner with 6 different medical groups. Eventually Guildner was cleared of all charges, but by then the Heimlich maneuver had become firmly entrenched as the primary method for choking response in the US....

GUILDNER: "It's so repugnant to me the way Dr. Heimlich has bullied. He's a bully and he has bullied people into submission."

In his quest for what reporter Thomas Francis called the "choking rescue crown," my father also called in some medical muscle in the form of US Surgeon General C. Everett Koop who used his federal government pulpit to stomp the competition and put the debate on ice.

From Koop's Declaration regarding the Heimlich Maneuver, Public Health Report, US Department of Health and Human Services, September 30, 1985:
(Dr. Koop) urged the American Red Cross and the American Heart Association to teach only the Heimlich Manuever (sic) in their first aid classes. Dr. Koop urged both organizations to withdraw from circulation manuals, posters and other materials that recommend treating choking victims with back slaps and blows to the chest...these methods are hazardous, even lethal."
The result? From a 2007 Creators Syndicate column by Lenore Skenazy:
After that, only the Heimlich Maneuver was considered kosher.
The fix?
What most people don't realize, Dr. Heimlich's son, Peter Heimlich, said, is that "Koop was an old friend of my father's, and he did it as a buddy favor."

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

FEMA dumped the Save-A-Life Foundation based on IL Daily Herald newspaper article

The Save-A-Life Foundation (SALF), a Chicago-area nonprofit that has been the subject of dozens of critical media reports since November 2006 and which is now the subject of federal and state investigations, became a member organization of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) in January 2003.

On September 17, 2009, after SALF founder/president Carol Spizzirri filed for voluntary dissolution as an Illinois corporation, her organization went belly-up. 

Just weeks before, per these records I obtained last week via a Freedom of Information Act request, Spizzirri's organization was dumped by FEMA.

Note that Spizzirri mentions me in her August 1, 2009 last gasp letter to FEMA, dated about a month after her organization withdraw its failed nuisance lawsuit filed against me and others. (Per a Cincinnati newspaper report, that "case was widely viewed as having the potential to set a precedent involving First Amendment protections for online commentary.")

Since mid-2010, SALF has reportedly been under investigation by the Illinois Attorney General.

The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) awarded SALF about $3.33 million. In November 2010, the Inspector General of the Department of Health and Human Services recommended that CDC review the role of SALF's corporate treasurer, CDC executive Douglas R. Browne.

SALF received no funds from FEMA.

As for Spizzirri - who, according to the San Diego Reader, once "was a darling of politicians and bureaucrats, although it was a matter of record that she had been convicted twice for shoplifting" - she's now living in a mobile home park in San Marcos, California.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

"Asimov Super Quiz" ignores claimed co-developer of the Heimlich maneuver

From The Heimlich maneuver by Henry J. Heimlich MD & the late Edward A. Patrick MD, PhD, Postgraduate Medicine, 5/1/90

Isaac Asimov's Super Quiz is a syndicated King Features newspaper quiz column written by Ken Fisher. From the February 4, 2012 column: 
6. He has received credit as the inventor of abdominal thrusts.

Answer: Henry Heimlich
True, but what about....?

From Dr. Edward A.Patrick & Dr. Henry J. Heimlich Regarding the Heimlich maneuver, press release, The Patrick Institute, May 28, 2003 (via the Wayback Machine, emphasis from original):
A reporter* from the Cincinnati Enquirer walked up the driveway of my home on May 19, 2003...He asked why I did not get proper credit for the development of what now is called the Heimlich maneuver....I have always viewed that Dr. Heimlich and I worked together to develop what has become known as the Heimlich maneuver just as the Wright brothers worked together to develop the first flying machine.
...In 1985, Surgeon General Koop called me to indicate that he was giving a press release to the American people declaring that the back slap was lethal and the Heimlich maneuver would be the only treatment for choking. Dr. Heimlich and I had developed the Heimlich maneuver as the best treatment for choking – it "flew"!
* Robert Anglen (now at the Arizona Republic) can provide more details.

From Heimlich's Maneuver by Thomas Francis, Cleveland Scene, August 11, 2004:
On the day of Koop's announcement, Heimlich staged his own press conference in Cincinnati, while Patrick had his in Evansville, Indiana. Patrick fielded questions from reporters about his role in inventing the maneuver. "At 9:30, when the press conference was over, a reporter came up to me and said, 'I just talked to Dr. Heimlich, and he says he did it alone,'" says Patrick. He was stunned.

Asked to describe his role in inventing the maneuver, Patrick gives technical descriptions of two discoveries that were turning points, both of which he claims as his own. He has difficulty remembering Heimlich's contribution.

Nevertheless, there are no sour grapes. "I never asked him about that," says Patrick of Heimlich's solo claim to the maneuver. "I would like to get proper credit for what I've done, but I'm not hyper about it."

Still, he says that for the sake of accuracy, the technique ought to be called the Patrick-Heimlich maneuver.
From Dr. Patrick's full-page obituary in the British Medical Journal, March 13, 2010:
Patrick claimed that he was the co-developer of the Heimlich manoeuvre, which he referred to as the “Patrick-Heimlich manoeuvre.” For nearly 30 years, his career was intimately tied to the equally puzzling career of Henry Heimlich, once dubbed the “most famous physician in the world” for the life saving manoeuvre named after him.
Who might be able to shed more light on this mystery? Also from the BMJ obit:
He leaves three former wives, Patricia Roy, Susan Soudrette, and Joy Lake Patrick, and four children from his first marriage (one predeceased him) and two from his third.

My father, Cory Servaas MD, and Edward A. Patrick MD PhD (1987)

Thursday, February 2, 2012

"Research expert" Dr. John Pippin & PCRM execs still ignoring elephant in the room - my father's medical atrocity experiments

From the website of the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine (PCRM)

Per the LA Weekly, "In both its mission statement and its IRS filings, the Washington, DC–based Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine (PCRM) says it is 'strongly opposed to unethical human research.'"

But meanwhile, as the article reported, PCRM turns a blind eye to the notorious medical atrocity experiments conducted by my father, a longtime member of PCRM's advisory board. And every couple of years, PCRM presents the Henry J. Heimlich Award for Innovative Medicine.

Via the British Medical Journal, here's a sample of that innovation:
...(Dr.) Heimlich became convinced that he could cure cancer, Lyme disease, and AIDS by infecting patients with malaria, known as “malariotherapy.” When the US Food and Drug Administration refused to allow the research to be conducted in the United States, the men moved the study to China, Ethiopia, and Gabon. The World Health Organization denounced the study as an example of “clearly unscrupulous and opportune research.”
The Africa experiments are utterly clandestine because they violate international law protecting human subjects. In order to generate more public awareness and perhaps shake loose new information, I've been raising sand in the media using the PCRM hypocrisy angle.

For example, via the Jackson, MS, NBC-TV affiliate:
In a new twist, the son of a famous doctor is speaking out against PCRM.  Peter Heimlich, son of Dr. Henry Heimlich who created the Heimlich maneuver, claims his father allegedly used people for controversial medical research. Dr. Heimlich serves on the board for PCRM....
"My concern is the organization seems to put the interest of pigs above human beings who are being subjected to violative medical research," said Peter Heimlich.
PCRM has been criticized by others as being a "PETA front group"..."I'd say they're fools," said (PCRM's Dr. John) Pippin.

Fool that I am, over the past two months, I sent a string of e-mails to Dr. Pippin and other PCRM executives and attached published reports including Thomas Francis's landmark 2005 Radar magazine article that included:
Mekbib Wondewossen is an Ethiopian immigrant who makes his living renting out cars in the San Francisco area, but in his spare time he works for Dr. Heimlich, doing everything from "recruiting the patients to working with the doctors here and there and everywhere," Wondewossen says. The two countries he names are Ethiopia and the small equatorial nation of Gabon, on Africa's west coast.

"The Heimlich Institute is part of the work there - the main people, actually, in the research," Wondewossen says. "They're the ones who consult with us on everything. They tell us what to do."

..."We go to an epidemic area where there is a lot of malaria, and then we look for patients that have HIV too. We find commercial sex workers or people who play around in that area."

...Wondewossen say that the researchers involved in the study are not doctors. He refuses to name members of the research team, because he says it would get them into trouble with the local authorities. "The government over there is a bad government," he says. "They can make you disappear."

Wondewossen won't reveal the source of funding for this malariotherapy research. "There are private funders," he says. But as to their identity?"I can't tell you that, because that's the deal we make with them, you know?" He scoffs at the question of whether his team got approval to conduct this research from a local ethics review board. Bribery on that scale, he says, is much too expensive: "If you want the government to get involved there, you have to give them a few million - and then they don't care what you do."
All I wanted from Dr. Pippin was his answer to this question, presumably a piece of cake for any "research expert": 
Do you consider the Heimlich Institute's "malariotherapy" experiments to be ethical?
No answer.

No surprise.

A few years ago when a prominent medical historian from the Mayo Clinic wrote to Dr. Pippin, he played dumb and passed the hot potato to his boss, PCRM founder/president Neal Barnard MD, who considers my father to be "one of the leading medical pioneers of our time."

Some sex workers in Ethiopia might disagree.

I also asked PCRM execs when the next presentation of their Heimlich Award was scheduled.

They seem be keeping that a secret, too.