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.

#####

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)

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.



source

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.

#####

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.

#####

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.


Friday, September 21, 2018

IMMIGRATION: Week 2 of my midterm Georgia 7th District "constituent journalism" Q&A with my candidates for Congress, Rep. Rob Woodall (R) and Carolyn Bourdeaux (D)

This item is the second 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).

This week's questions are about immigration. Last week Ms. Bourdeaux went first, so this week is Congressman Woodall's turn.


Woodall (source)

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 questions, I sent multiple e-mails and a fax with my questions (for which I obtained confirmation of receipt) to Congressman Woodall and to his campaign representative Derick Corbett. For the second week in a row, I didn't receive a reply.


Bourdeaux (source)

Q: Should comprehensive immigration reform be enacted? If so, what should and/or shouldn't be included? If not, why not?

BOURDEAUX: Yes, we need to enact comprehensive immigration reform in this country. Georgia’s 7th district is one of the most diverse communities in the entire nation, and I’m proud of that. We need to celebrate our diversity. We are long overdue for comprehensive immigration reform that recognizes the realities of our communities and labor markets. Part of immigration reform is border security, and the security of our border and our country is best served when we focus enforcement resources on criminals who mean us harm. We urgently need a path to citizenship for the DREAMers, who came here as children and are invaluable members of our communities.

Q: On September 7, the Departments of Homeland Security and Health & Human Services issued a proposal that reportedly would allow the government to indefinitely hold minors in detention. The proposed regulations would invalidate the Flores Settlement Agreement, a decree that has stipulated the treatment of detained underage migrants since 1997. As it stands, children can only be detained for up to 20 days. (source)

Do you support the proposal? If so, why? If not, why not?

CB: No, I do not support this proposal. The Trump Administration’s detention of children is wrong and inhumane, and this proposal is unjustifiable.

Q: Some have called for ICE to be reformed or abolished. What's your opinion?

CB: I believe we need to reform how ICE works. I agree that we need to better check ICE and provide oversight, but ICE itself is simply a law-enforcement agency that we need to monitor. ICE plays an integral role at the border, which is an important function. However, I also see that we need to root out any corruption involved in ICE to ensure a fair, transparent organization.

Friday, September 14, 2018

The GA 7th Congressional race: Rep. Rod Woodall (R) and challenger Carolyn Bourdeaux (D) response to my questions about Medicaid

Per my previous item, SNEAK PEEK: My first weekly Q&A with Rep. Rob Woodall (R) & Carolyn Bourdeaux (D), candidates for the Georgia 7th congressional district, today marks the first of a series of what I've called "constituent journalism."

The source of this week's questions is an AARP article published last month

Based on last name alphabetical order, this week Ms. Bourdeaux goes first. Next week Rep. Woodall will lead off.


Bourdeaux

Will you promise not to cut Medicaid to pay for tax cuts or other spending?

CB: One of my top priorities in Congress is expanding access to quality, affordable health care, not working to take it away. I oppose the GOP tax bill that passed last year, which gave large handouts to big corporations and the wealthy while eventually hurting the middle class. While I am concerned about our rising deficit, I will not cut Medicaid in favor of tax cuts or other handouts to the rich.

Would you oppose making Medicaid a block grant program?

CB: Yes. Making Medicaid a block grant program would hurt Georgians and make it harder for those on Medicaid to get the health care coverage they need.

Would you support Medicaid guaranteeing long-term care services at home?

CB: Having just struggled with health care for both my and my husband’s aging parents, I am deeply sympathetic to the challenge and financial drain of providing long-term care. Neither my parents nor my in-laws wanted to leave their homes, and we were worried about having to put them in a nursing home. If we can promote in-home care as a low-cost alternative to nursing homes, I would certainly support it, but one of the challenges we found, and we face as a society, is that in-home care at a certain stage becomes extremely expensive. I am open to ideas about how to address this issue.

Should Medicaid recipients be subject to work requirements?

CB: No. Placing work requirements on Medicaid recipients would hurt low-income Georgians. In Georgia, for the most part, only children, pregnant women, new mothers and the aged, blind, and disabled receive Medicaid benefits. Work requirements make no sense. Should Georgia expand Medicaid, I would still oppose this provision because health is often a precondition to being able to work.


Woodall

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. (The complete correspondence is posted here.)

Re: this week's questions, I sent multiple e-mails and faxed Mr. Corbett (for which I obtained confirmation of receipt), but I didn't receive any further communications. 

Check back next Friday for round 2!

Monday, September 10, 2018

SNEAK PEEK: My first weekly Q&A with Rep. Rob Woodall (R) & Carolyn Bourdeaux (D), candidates for the Georgia 7th congressional district

U.S. Rep. Rob Woodall (R) & his congressional challenger Carolyn Bourdeaux (D)

My wife and I live and vote in Georgia's 7th Congressional District which, according to Wikipedia, "includes portions of the northeast Atlanta metropolitan area, including the cities of Peachtree Corners, Norcross, Cumming, Lawrenceville, Duluth, Suwanee, and Buford."

In what I hope will be an informative and lively foray into "constituent journalism," I've decided to use my blog as a once-a-week Q&A forum for the Republican and Democrat candidates vying for that congressional seat in this year's midterm elections.

As a sneak preview, below the hash marks are the questions I'm sending the candidates this morning along with a recap of the ground rules which I previously covered with their campaign representatives.

Full disclosure, as I informed both campaigns, I'm a registered Democrat, but I'll be maintaining a completely non-partisan stance and the questions I submit to the candidates will reflect that.

My objective is to provide both candidates with an unedited, open-ended opportunity to express themselves on substantive issues that matter to thoughtful citizens. Rest assured I will fiercely avoid political spin.

Thanks for reading and be sure to check back Friday for their responses!


#########

Rep. Rob Woodall
% Derick Corbett
E-mailed to derick@robwoodall.com
Faxed to (770)232-2909

Carolyn Bourdeaux
% Jake Best
E-mailed to jakebest@carolyn4congress.com & carolyn@carolyn4congress.com

Dear Rep. Woodall & Ms. Bourdeaux:

Per my previous e-mails to Derick Corbett & Jake Best, this is the first of my questions for a weekly Q&A series I'm publishing on my blog, The Sidebar.

To quickly recap, each Monday from today until October 29, I'll be sending you substantive questions re: matters of interest to GA 7th District constituents (of which I'm proud to number myself). You'll have until end of the day Thursday to respond and I'll publish your responses unedited and without comment the next morning (Friday).

For example, for today's questions, your deadline is end of the day Thursday, September 13 and I'll publish your responses the morning of Friday, September 14. Each week I'll alternate whose response is posted first and I plan to forward my items to local mainstream media outlets.

I do not accept posted comments on my blog, but if I receive thoughtful e-mails -- emphasis on thoughtful -- I may publish those on my blog separate from the Q&A items or on my Twitter account. Long story short, I will maintain a fair forum for sound debate.

Okay, on to my questions which are copied verbatim from Midterm Election Winners Could Determine Medicaid’s Future; New lawmakers will decide whether to cut or maintain the safety-net program’s benefits by Dena Bunis, AARP Bulletin, July/August 2018.

1) Will you promise not to cut Medicaid to pay for tax cuts or other spending?

2) Would you oppose making Medicaid a block grant program?

3) Would you support Medicaid guaranteeing long-term care services at home?

4) Should Medicaid recipients be subject to work requirements?

On behalf of GA 7th voters, sincere thanks for your time/consideration and I look forward to receiving and publishing your answers.

Cheers, Peter

Peter M. Heimlich
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

cc: Dena Bunis % Veronica Byrd Director, Media Relations, Health Care, Health Policy, Medicare, Medicaid, AARP

Thursday, August 30, 2018

Last year Louisville, KY home/residential care conglomerate ResCare "purchased and placed" a controversial anti-choking device in over 2,600 of their facilities across the country; I've asked U.S. & KY government agencies to investigate

source

Below the hash marks is a considerably abbreviated version of an investigations request letter I sent on August 28, 2018 to:
Daniel R. Levinson, Inspector General
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

Andy Beshear, Kentucky Attorney General

Steve Davis, Inspector General
Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family Services
My letter, entirely based on publicly-available information, includes links and quotes from three recent television news investigative reports about an anti-choking device called the Dechoker; a letter from a former executive associated with the device; and a testimonial letter from a ResCare vice president.

Click here to download a copy.

Also see my March 26, 2018 item, "Growing pains" for company selling anti-choking device? NC state "investment scheme" investigation & three debt collection lawsuits, one filed by former top executive.

#################################

Dear Mr. Levinson, Mr. Beshear, and Mr. Davis:

Via the web page https://www.rescare.com/about/
(ResCare Inc., founded and headquartered in Louisville, Kentucky is) the largest diversified health and human services provider in the U.S., ResCare* is the largest private provider of services to people with disabilities, the largest privately-owned home care company, the largest provider of specialized high-acuity neuro-rehab in community settings and the largest career center workforce contractor in the U.S.
Based on the following information, ResCare Inc. appears to be using residents at over 2600 of their facilities to test an unapproved, experimental medical device called the Dechoker.

To my knowledge, no research has been published in the literature about the device which is intended for use in life or death choking emergencies.

Further, to my knowledge, the device, which is sold by Dechoker LLC (formerly based in Concord, NC, now in Denver, CO), is not recommended by any medical organizations or by resuscitation experts.

I have no knowledge whether or not residents of ResCare facilities or their legal guardians have been informed about the potential use of the device. However, according to the attached February 20, 2018 testimonial letter signed by a senior ResCare executive, the Dechoker has been employed in at least seven choking emergencies at ResCare facilities.

...This is to request that you obtain and review any relevant information regarding ResCare’s purchase of and placement of the Dechoker “in all 2,600+ ResCare facilities across the country”; that you determine if that purchase and placement complies with all applicable regulations; and that you make public the results.

This is also to request that you investigate the cases in which...the Dechoker has (allegedly) been used to save the lives of seven choking victims in ResCare facilities, and that you make public the results including but not limited to the dates and locations of the cases and the names and job titles of all participating ResCare employees.

Thank you for your time, attention, 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
website: http://medfraud.info
blog: http://the-sidebar.com
e-mail: peter.heimlich@gmail.com
Twitter: @medfraud_pmh
bio: http://tinyurl.com/ych7o7dr

* According to an August 15. 2018 press release, “BrightSpring Health Services is the new name for Kentucky-based ResCare...”

Saturday, August 25, 2018

My employee misconduct complaint against Chicago Tribune Standards Editor Margaret Holt -- and a related crowd source inquiry

source

If I come across factual information in mainstream press reports that I know is false, I do what I can to fix it.

In fact, according to Washington Post media critic Erik Wemple, I may hold the record for published corrections for a single news topic.

That's one reason it bugs me when journalists refuse to publish corrections for straightforward factual errors.

And that's one reason why the other day I filed a misconduct complaint against Margaret Holt, Standards Editor at the Chicago Tribune and a prominent figure in the newspaper business.

The tale starts with a July 16, 2018 Tribune story, Family members of Dr. Henry Heimlich say Red Cross guidance on choking victims could end in death by reporter

about a campaign against the American Red Cross (ARC) launched last month by my sister Janet Heimlich, a journalist/author/nonprofit executive in Austin, Texas, and my brother Phil Heimlich, a former elected official in Cincinnati.

They're on the warpath because the ARC recommends performing back blows along with our dad's namesake maneuver (abdominal thrusts) to respond to a choking emergency.

In my opinion, Ms. Olumhense's story has some serious reportorial problems. (Re: the medical issues, visit my web page for links to related published documents.)

For example, the ARC's current protocol has been in place since 2005, a fact that's not mentioned in her article, so it's unclear if Ms. Olumhense was even aware of that.

If she was, presumably she would have asked Janet and Phil why they waited 13 years to voice their concerns.

Moving right along, here's the problem at hand:








From: Margaret C. Holt <mcholt@chicagotribune.com>
To: Peter Heimlich <peter.heimlich@gmail.com>
Subject: Tribune follow-up
Date: Mon, 16 Jul 2018 16:37:49 +0000

Mr. Heimlich:
Your email was referred to me for response. The story is straightforward in quoting people about the topic, including a reference to a disagreement between some family members and the Red Cross. There is nothing further beyond what is in the published article.
Sincerely,
Margaret Holt
Standards Editor
Since I knew the part of the sentence about the AHA was wrong, I realized Ms. Holt didn't know what she was talking about.

And since she didn't ask what my concerns might be, presumably she didn't care, so I same-day replied:
Margaret,

Would you please provide me with your superior's name and e-mail address?

Thank you for your continued attention and I look forward to your reply.

Cheers, Peter
A week later I hadn't received a reply, so on July 23 I sent a friendly "can you help me?" e- mail to Tribune Managing Editor Peter Kendall who some years ago had capably assisted me with an unrelated editorial problem.

He passed the baton back to Ms. Holt:
Mr. Heimlich,
Thank you for your email.
I am copying Margaret on this so you can share any specific questions or concerns about the story.
She is the appropriate person to handle this.
After thanking him, I e-mailed media representatives at the AHA, NSC, and ACEP and asked for their organizations' positions.

An AHA Vice President e-mailed me this, taken from the organization's current guidelines (my emphasis):
“…chest thrusts, back slaps, and abdominal thrusts are feasible and effective for relieving severe FBAO [Foreign Body Airway Obstruction] in conscious (responsive) adults and children over 1 year of age.
The NSC rep replied that their organization adheres to AHA guidelines.

And an ACEP manager in that organization's communications department e-mailed me that their organization "does not have a formal policy on the Heimlich maneuver."

Based on those e-mails, the Tribune's claim that the three organizations "

Along the way I also identified what may be the source of Ms.

article was apparently triggered by a July 10 e-mail and press release snet by a publicist representing Janet and Phil which included this sentence:
The American Heart Association teaches the Heimlich Maneuver as the only method to be used to save a choking victim, as does the National Safety Council and the American College of Emergency Physicians.





 




Monday, June 25, 2018

Would U.S. Senator Claire McCaskill have been spared a cracked rib if her colleague Joe Manchin had followed American Red Cross choking rescue guidelines?

Via  Sen. Manchin cracks another senator's rib with Heimlich maneuver, Associated Press, June 25, 2018:
U.S. Sen. Joe Manchin has cracked a rib of U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill while performing the Heimlich maneuver on the fellow Democrat when she began choking.
A spokesman for Manchin told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch that McCaskill began choking during a luncheon for Senate Democrats on Thursday. Manchin used the Heimlich maneuver to dislodge the blockage in McCaskill's throat, but he cracked a rib in the process.
Via Heimlich maneuver saved my child by staff reporter Ian Mitchell, Chicago Tribune, February 28, 2014 (emphasis added):
In a conscious choking emergency, where a person can't cough, speak or breathe, the (American Red Cross) procedure is to ask the person if he or she is choking and get consent to give aid. Then administer five strong back blows between the shoulder blades with the heel of your hand, "as forceful as you deem necessary to save that person's life," (representative Gabriele) Romanucci said.

The back blows are a less-invasive technique that might help clear the airway, so the Red Cross advises trying them first, he said.

"If that technique is not successful, then we would go to the abdominal thrust," he said.

source

Saturday, June 23, 2018

Via the Cincinnati Enquirer & The Hill, my brother, former elected official Phil Heimlich, now claims to be a defender of democratic values & freedom of the press, so I asked if he's changed any of his past hard right political positions -- and why he allegedly helped kill a Seattle TV news report




From: Peter Heimlich <peter.heimlich@gmail.com>
Subject: Re: Questions for an item I'm blogging
To: Phil Heimlich <philheimlich1@gmail.com>
Cc: Justin Wise, Charles W. Guildner MD, [Enquirer opinion editor] Kevin Aldridge, Robert Anglen, Gregory Korte, [Enquirer politics reporter] Jason Williams, [Hamilton County, Ohio, Commissioner] Todd Portune
Date: Tue, 19 Jun 2018 13:20:09 -0400

Phil,

I didn't receive your reply to my June 15 e-mail re: whether or not you're still doing the Hard Truths With Phil Heimlich podcast. Would you please get back to me on that?

Via Phil's website, apparently his last podcast was last year on 9/11

I'd also appreciate your answers to some other quick questions for the item I'm blogging about your June 14 Enquirer column that was picked up by Justin Wise in The Hill.

1) Based on the commitment to democratic values you expressed in your column, do you have any comments re: any of the information in these Enquirer articles from when you held elected office?

Via (Phil) Heimlich's legacy: 'Across-the-board cheapskate' by Robert Anglen, Cincinnati Enquirer, November 29, 2001:
“It means more of the same and it makes me nervous,” says Jenny Laster, president of the Grass Roots Leadership Academy, which trains community leaders and which recently fell into Mr. Heimlich's sights. “If he becomes a commissioner, I'll be the first person he wants to run out of town on a rail.”

She says Mr. Heimlich is divisive and destructive, and cites his inquiries about the academy as an example. He started by questioning how much the city was paying the academy to train community leaders and then tersely derided the program as being more expensive than Harvard.

“I haven't seen him accomplish anything, other than to further polarize this community,” Ms. Laster says. “There's a way to get information without stripping dignity from people.”

And she says he operates with impunity against minority organizations.

“If that sounds like I'm calling him a racist, well, if the shoe fits, then I'm sorry,” Ms. Laster says.

...Last year, four black civic and business leaders wanted Mr. Heimlich gagged and called for city officials to investigate him.

Representatives of the Urban League, the African American Chamber of Commerce, Genesis Redevelopment and the Riverfront Classic and Jamboree claimed that Mr. Heimlich had used his office as a tool of intimidation by persistently seeking information about groups that serve the black community.

He demanded financial statements, questioned salaries, probed expenses. Black leaders claimed that he unfairly targeted their organizations. While City Council refused to investigate Mr. Heimlich, some members questioned his methods and his manner as rude and unproductive.

“It has been a real problem,” Urban League President Sheila Adams says of Mr. Heimlich. “But I am not going to use his tactics.
Via Gay issue foes' names not listed; Donations not included in finance reports by Gregory Korte, Cincinnati Enquirer, October 28, 2004:
Conservative activists fighting a gay rights ballot measure in Cincinnati bought more than $500,000 worth of television ads on Sept. 30, local stations say.

...The Focus on the Family Cincinnati Committee has bought several full-page ads in Cincinnati newspapers featuring Hamilton County Commissioner Phil Heimlich.

...In the ad, Heimlich rebuts claims from repeal supporters that Article XII has cost the city millions in lost convention business.

Heimlich conducted the study while he was a paid consultant to the Citizens for Community Values. CCV paid Heimlich $55,000 in 2002, according to the group's tax return and Heimlich's state ethics disclosure form.
 
Via Anti-porn crusader takes fight to hotels by Sheila McLaughlin, Cincinnati Enquirer, December 15, 2002:
Incoming Hamilton County Commissioner Phil Heimlich has been employed by CCV as a paid consultant for the past year since leaving his Cincinnati City Council seat.

...He says he developed a close relationship with CCV as a city councilman, after Mr. Burress suggested that Cincinnati needed zoning measures to keep sexually-oriented businesses out of the central business district. Mr. Heimlich then successfully spearheaded legislation to do just that in 1996.
2) Re: this screen shot from the website of your 2008 congressional campaign, have you changed positions on any of these issues?



3) Based on the commitment to a free press which you expressed in your column, per my previous e-mail, a source informed me that you helped kill a KING5 News (Seattle) report about a 1976 research study about foreign body airway obstruction by Dr. Charles W. Guildner by threatening executives at the station with legal action. Is that true? If so, why did you do it?



4) Does (your wife and my sister-in-law Rebecca Simpson Heimlich, a longtime Koch brothers employee) plan to join you in voting for Democrats in national races in the upcoming mid-terms? Also, re: the photo of Rebecca and Corey Lewandowski (above), was that taken at the 2016 National Republican Convention? If not, what's the source?

5) Who's your supervising editor at the Enquirer?

Thanks for your continued time/attention and if you intend to respond, would you please get back to me by end of the day tomorrow?

Your brother, Peter

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

I haven't received a reply. Also I left a voice message and sent a couple of e-mails to Kevin Aldridge, the Enquirer's opinion editor, asking for the name of Phil's supervising editor. I haven't received a reply -- PMH

source

Monday, June 18, 2018

FOX news stations in Oklahoma City & Cleveland aired stories that might seriously injure babies -- one fixed the problem; the other doubled down

How should a mainstream news organization respond after being made aware that a published story contains bad information that may seriously injure babies?

In somewhat identical situations, here's how FOX TV News affiliates in Oklahoma City and Cleveland responded.

One deserves to take a bow.

The other deserves to get sued.

source

On June 13, FOX25 News in Oklahoma City aired How to help someone who's choking by staff reporter Jordann Lucero.

Here's a screenshot from her story with my highlighting:


Via that part of her story, here's an interview with a member of the Oklahoma City Fire Department:


Here's the problem.

No legitimate medical organization or medical expert recommends performing stomach thrusts (aka abdominal thrusts aka the Heimlich maneuver) on babies.

 As I've reported, executives at the American Heart Association (AHA) and American Red Cross (ARC) wrote me that the treatment "may cause injuries" to babies.

(To my knowledge, the only organization that recommends and teaches the treatment is Cincinnati's Heimlich Heroes program, a dubious operation whose charter is to promote my dad's "legacy.")

source

After spotting Ms. Lucero's report I e-mailed AHA and ARC guidelines to Oklahoma City Battalion Chief and Public Relations Officer Benny Fulkerson.

A few hours later I received his reply:
Mr. Heimlich,

Sir, we just want to thank you for bringing this matter to our attention. After review, it has been determined that you are absolutely correct. The treatment demonstrated in the video was not in accordance with the AHA [American Heart Association] standard which we operate under. Please know that we feel terrible that this occurred, and we are working with Fox 25 to correct this information for their viewers. As a public safety organization, we take extremely seriously our role as an authority about all things related to fire and life safety. We do have amazing personnel who work very hard every day to serve our citizens. When we make mistakes, we take every measure to correct them and learn from them.

Again, thank you so much for contacting us about this. We are eager to get this information corrected.
I then received a thank-you from FOX25 New Director Adam Pursch who informed me that the story was being re-reported.

The re-reported story got it right:


I sincerely thanked Battalion Chief Fulkerson and Mr. Pursch for their professionalism and commitment to public safety.

I can't say the same re: the following mess.



Here's a transcript at about time stamp :35 from How to save a life: Help someone who is choking by staff reporter Adrienne DiPiazza, FOX8 News Cleveland, February 13, 2018:
DiPiazza: (The Akron Fire Department's Lt. Joe) Shumaker says don’t be afraid of hurting the baby, and forceful motions are the only thing that will help them breathe again.

Shumaker: “Can you cause some injury? Can you break a bone? Can you crack a rib? Perhaps, but in the end run the child will be breathing which is what we want as a result,” he said.
Who'd be irresponsible enough to stand behind the recommendation that first responders shouldn't worry about breaking a baby's bones?

Among others: Akron Mayor Daniel Horrigan, Fire Chief Clarence Tucker, and FOX8 News Director Andy Fishman.

Akron, OH, Mayor Daniel Horrigan & Fire Chief Clarence Tucker (source)

Last February I sent all of them the same information I sent last week to the responsible parties in Oklahoma City

However, rather than fixing the error in order to protect babies from potential injury or worse, they all backed up Lt. Shumaker who, in fact, is certified according to AHA standards:


Here's the grammatically-challenged reply I received from Mr. Fishman at FOX8 which more or less corresponds to the replies I received from the offices of the mayor and the fire department:
From: Fishman, Andy <Andy.Fishman@fox8.com>
To: Peter M. Heimlich <peter.heimlich@gmail.com>
Subject: Re: blogger inquiry
Date: Sun, 18 Feb 2018 14:00:09 +0000

Peter
As highly trained first responders, we [sic] trust and stand by the information provided to us by the Akron Fire Department.

Best Andy
I then asked him for the name and e-mail address of his station's general manager to which he responded:
From: Andy Fishman <Andy.Fishman@fox8.com>
To: Peter M. Heimlich <peter.heimlich@gmail.com>
Subject: Re: blogger inquiry
Date: Sun, 18 Feb 2018 14:29:54 +0000

Peter

We consider this matter closed

Best Andy
Per the item you're reading, I don't.

After I asked FOX8 Cleveland News Director Andy Fishman to put me in touch with his boss, he Twitter-blocked me

Thursday, June 7, 2018

Denver company going to the dogs (and cats), introduces suction plunger for choking pets -- any vets out there want to comment?

source

Dechoker LLC -- which in recent years has been selling a plunger device intended for sucking foreign body obstructions from the airways of humans -- now has a version for our four-legged friends.

The company -- which recently relocated to Denver, Colorado in the wake of a reported $2m securities fraud investigation by the North Carolina Secretary of State -- offers three sizes for dogs and a one-size-fits-all model for cats.

source

At this writing, two of the models -- medium and large sizes for fido -- are sold out.

But all four sizes appear to be available from a Bismarck, North Dakota company called Balkowitsch Enterprises, Inc.


source

According to a story aired last week by the NBC affiliate in Waterloo, Iowa, Heimlich alternative? KWWL investigates new medical device offered to Iowa school by staff reporter Amanda Gilbert, a local school district installed Dechokers, then removed them, apparently after viewing this interview with State EMS Medical Director David Stilley MD:



However, Dr. Stilley didn't share his opinion regarding the Dechoker for pets so if any veterinarians want to weigh in, feel free to e-mail me and I may publish submissions.

Friday, June 1, 2018

Happy "Heimlich Maneuver Day" -- but beware Cincinnati's reckless "Heimlich Heroes" first aid training program

source

source

Sounds nice except for this big problem.

Heimlich Heroes teaches the public to perform "the Heimlich" (abdominal thrusts) on infants.



To my knowledge, no legitimate medical organization or medical expert recommends the treatment for babies.

Why not?

According to e-mails I received from executives at the American Heart Association (Greg Donaldson) and the American Red Cross (Don Lauritzen), performing abdominal thrusts on infants "may cause injuries."

Further, to my knowledge there has never been any published research on the subject.

In other words, Heimlich Heroes has apparently taught 100,000 people that, when confronted with a life or death situation with your baby, you should perform an unapproved, experimental, potentially-harmful medical treatment.

Who would be reckless enough to recommend that?

As widely reported, my wife Karen and I helped expose my dad as a dangerous quack who, after he was fired for misconduct at his last medical job, spent the rest of his career as a celebrity doctor who used the press to circulate unfounded, experimental medical treatments that put lives at risk.

One was "the Heimlich" for choking infants, a claim he apparently pulled out of thin air.

Here's one good question.

Why is Cincinnati's nonprofit Deaconess Associations Inc. (DAI in the above graphic) funding and promoting this dangerous hokum?

Here's another.

Will a mainstream news outlet report this story before someone's baby is inadvertently injured or worse as a result of the Heimlich Heroes program?

source