Friday, March 27, 2015

Thousands of Texas students to be trained by controversial first aid program -- I've asked the state health department to jump in

(From my letter today to the Texas Department of Public Health Services, posted below -- click here to download a copy.)

This is to request your help regarding a first aid program that's scheduled to be presented next month to thousands of Texas students.

1) Via Heimlich maneuver on unconscious persons causes controversy by Nick Kammerer, Rambler Newspapers (Irvine), November 24, 2014:

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.
2) Eric Perez MD is an emergency medicine specialist at Mount Sinai St. Luke's Hospital in New York City who reviews medical treatments published by the National Library of Medicine (under the aegis of the National Institutes of Health). Per a February 3, 2015 item I reported on my blog, Dr. Perez recently wrote me, “To my knowledge, there is no definitive evidence for or against performing abdominal thrusts (on) unconscious patient(s).”

Further, to my knowledge the Heimlich Heroes program has never been reviewed or approved by any licensed physicians.

Therefore, it appears the program is using students to circulate an unapproved, experimental medical treatment.