Monday, February 9, 2015

Before Lyin' Brian Williams was outed, I tagged Apparently Lyin' Luke Bryan for dubious choking rescue claim published by People Country magazine [UPDATE: Jim Romenesko picks up my item]

2/10/15 UPDATE: Media watchdog Jim Romenesko picked up my "Lyin' Bryan?" item.


Via the October 2012 issue of People Country magazine:

Here are my items to date about my unsuccessful attempts to verify Bryan's claim:

September 23, 2012: Who's the "mystery friend" that rescued Nashville singing star Luke Bryan from choking? His people won't tell me and the editor of People Country -- the magazine that broke the story -- isn't interested

November 8, 2012: Was country music star Luke Bryan lyin' about being rescued from choking? Not even his mother will back up the story

January 29, 2013: Nashville singer Luke Bryan's managers refuse to back up his "Heimlich choking rescue" story -- and an invitation to reporters to slice this baloney

August 29, 2013: Was Billboard #1 singer Luke Bryan lyin' about being saved in a dramatic choking rescue? He won't answer me, so any reporters or fans want to ask him? Here's his tour schedule and contact info

Obviously I don't have the swat to get an answer from Team Bryan, so along the way I've sent the information to reporters in Nashville and elsewhere. To my knowledge, no one has followed-up.

What happens next?

A. Nothing.

B. A journalist asks Team Bryan for the who/what/where/when, perhaps contacts me for a reaction comment, and reports the results.

C. Someone writes him a "Dear Luke" fan letter asking him the following questions, forwards the correspondence to me, and I blog the results:
- What was the date of the choking incident?
- What's the name and location of the pizza restaurant?
- What's the name of your friend who performed the Heimlich maneuver?
- Based on your description ("I went down"), did you lose consciousness?
- Did you subsequently seek medical care? If so, what's the name of the doctor who examined you?
Re: options B and C, here are the offices of Red Light Management, based in Charlottesville, VA, the entertainment company that handles Bryan.


Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Cincinnati's Heimlich Heroes program falls for Onion-style "news story" that Bill Murray saved a choking victim in Phoenix using "the Heimlich" [UPDATE: How pathetic is this?]

Yesterday I blogged about the recklessness and incompetence of a Cincinnati first aid organization called Heimlich Heroes that's mistraining thousands of kids around the country.

Posted a couple days ago on the group's Facebook page:

Only one problem.

The story's a spoof that originated two years ago from an Onion-style "news" outlet:


2/10/15 UPDATE: How pathetic is this? 

Days after I blogged the above item, here's a screenshot of the same Facebook post, but with some added words:

Hey there, Heimlich Heroes! 

Even though you're an incompetent operation that's mistraining students around the country, I'm glad you're following my blog -- I can use all the readers I can get. 

But when you get snookered, why not just laugh it off instead of trying to lie your way out of it?

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Is Cincinnati's Heimlich Heroes training program using thousands of kids around the country to circulate an experimental medical treatment? Plus the National Institutes of Health tags the group for misrepresentation

Via Heimlich family maneuvers by Peter Korn, Portland Tribune,


I've been unable to locate any published research studies supporting that treatment recommendation. (If you know of any, please send me citations.)  

Via the website of the affiliated Heimlich Heroes first aid training program:

Click here for a page on the organization's website listing dozens of cities and towns where kids have been or will be trained. The list doesn't identify who conducted the training or at what facility or school.

Via this clip from training videos posted on their website, Heimlich Heroes is teaching kids around the country to "Heimlich" unconscious choking victims:

According to her LinkedIn bio, Heimlich Heroes program director Terri Huntington has no medical training and her last job was working for a multi-level marketing company called The Pampered Chef.

When I asked her for any evidence supporting the use of "the Heimlich" to revive unconscious choking victims, she instructed me to go away.

Eric Perez MD is an emergency medicine specialist at Mount Sinai St. Luke's Hospital in New York City who reviews medical treatments posted on the website of the U.S. National Library of Medicine (under the aegis of the National Institutes of Health).

Via a January 6, 2015 e-mail, he wrote me:
To my knowledge, there is no definitive evidence for or against performing abdominal thrusts in unconscious patients.
Via Heimlich maneuver on unconscious persons causes controversy by Nick Kammerer, Rambler Newspapers, Irvine, TX, November 24, 2014:
Certain entities, such as the American Heart Association and the American Red Cross, do not recommend using the Heimlich maneuver on unconscious patients......Heimlich Heroes, a Cincinnati-based first aid program developed partly by Henry Heimlich, is teaching students to perform the Heimlich maneuver on unconscious choking victims. This means that school children are being taught a medical practice that is not recommended by the American Heart Association or Red Cross, two highly credible public health organizations.
Based on the above, unless I'm missing something, Heimlich Heroes appears to be using young people around the country to circulate an experimental, unapproved medical treatment.

The program was also recently tagged by the National Institutes of Health for circulating false information.

Here's a claim that, until recently, was posted on the Heimlich Heroes website's FAQ page:

Via a recent FOIA request I filed with the NIH:

The Heimlich Heroes FAQ web page has since changed the claim to:

I'll fact-check that claim with those three organizations and report the results.

This item has been slightly revised for clarity.