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

Friday, May 4, 2018

Update in NC Secretary of State's $2+mil securities case re: anti-choking device company

source

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

According to the website of Dechoker LLC, the company has moved from Concord, North Carolina to Denver, Colorado. 

Updates via the North Carolina Secretary of State Securities Division:
On April 17, 2018, Alan Carver and Dechoker, LLC entered into a Consent Order with the Deputy Securities Administrator agreeing to cease offering unregistered securities and acting as unregistered dealers/salesmen in North Carolina. Click here to view the Consent Order. Also on April 17, 2018, the Deputy Securities Administrator entered a Final Order against Russell Wadell, Mark Shores, and Mark Honeycutt making permanent the Temporary Cease and Desist Order in the matter of Dechoker, LLC, Alan Carver, Russell Wadell, Mark Shores, and Mark Honeycutt entered on February 15, 2018. Click here to view the Final Order.
Via the same web page:
A summary cease & desist order is issued by the Securities Division when it appears that ongoing activity violates the North Carolina Securities Act or the North Carolina Investment Advisers Act and poses the threat of irreparable harm to the investing public. The cease & desist order commands those who receive it to stop any further violations and to comply with the requirements of the securities laws. At the time of issuance of a summary order, the persons named in the order have not had the opportunity to respond to its allegations. The order notifies those persons that they may request a hearing on whether the allegations are true. If no hearing is requested, the Division will issue a final order confirming the allegations as true. A final order terminates the controversy between the parties and concludes the issues in the proceeding, unless and until it is vacated or set aside. 
I. Here's the April 17 Consent Order with a couple of screenshots:
 





 
II. Here's the April 17 Final Order with a couple of screenshots:
 














Monday, March 26, 2018

"Growing pains" for company selling anti-choking device? NC state "investment scheme" investigation & three debt collection lawsuits, one filed by former top executive

Via Anti-choking device business raided, accused of investment scheme a March 12, 2018 investigative report by Matthew Grant, FOX46 Charlotte, NC:
State investigators raided the Concord, NC office of (Dechoker LLC) last month seizing computers and financial records accusing the business of running an "investment scheme," according to the search warrant and other state records.

The company is accused of raising more than $2 million by defrauding more than 80 investors, mostly from North Carolina. The company did not have a license to work in the state or sell securities but did both illegally, according to the North Carolina Secretary of State.

...(Dechoker inventor Alan) Carver later pointed to a blog post on his website.

"Dechoker is a small organization with growing pains that all companies go through," the post reads.

I. Technical Precision Plastics (Mebane, NC) vs. Dechoker LLC, case no. 17CVS1088, Alamance County (NC) Superior Court, June 6, 2016 complaint:






II. Christopher Kellogg c. Dechoker LLC, case no. 16-CI-005356, Jefferson County, KY Circuit Court,10/26/16 plaintiff's complaint & 12/21/16 defendant's response:




Via FDA approves new lifesaving device based out of Louisville by Ann Bowdan, WLKY News (Louisville, KY), October 30, 2015:
(Recently) the Food and Drug Administration approved a new device being touted as an alternative method to the Heimlich.

The alternative device is called the Dechoker, and its headquarters is right here in Louisville.

"The Heimlich works on positive pressure and we work on negative pressure, or suction. In other words, it's a vacuum,” Dechoker CEO Christopher Kellogg said.

The concept for the Dechoker came while Navy Captain Alan Carver was taking a first aid course with his fellow seamen.

"They're 200 miles off the coast and the instructor says, ‘If the Heimlich doesn't work guys, then there isn't anything else,’” Kellogg said.

...Kellogg set up shop in Louisville as it was tested and approved.
[NOTE: The WLKY story provides no indication that Ms. Bowdan ever contacted the FDA. If she had, she might have learned that the agency simply registered the Dechoker, not "approved" it. In other words, the headline and lead of her story are wrong.]


III. Greenleaf Health Inc. (Washington, DC) vs. Dechoker LLC, case no. 2017CA003434CAAXWS, Pasco County, FL, Sixth Judicial Circuit Court:

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

UK government regulatory agency for medical devices releases determination letters sent last year re: two anti-choking devices


Via the website of the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA):
What we do

The Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency regulates medicines, medical devices and blood components for transfusion in the UK.
This week the MHRA released two identical August 30, 2017 determination letters re: the Dechoker and the LifeVac, two unrelated handheld anti-choking devices being marketed in the UK by Dechoker UK (Northampton) and LifeVac Europe Ltd (Devon) respectively. 

Both devices were developed by companies in the U.S., Dechoker LLC (recently relocated to Denver, CO) and LifeVac LLC (Springfield Gardens, NY).

Page down for copies of each letter. Here's the text.


30 August 2017

I am writing to you further to my letter of 19 May, when I requested additional information which was necessary for the MHRA to give full consideration to the regulatory issues relating to placing your product on the UK market. I am grateful to you for providing that information in a timely manner; we have now had the opportunity to consider the additional information and have reached a conclusion on how we propose to proceed.

In my letter, I referred to MEDDEV 2.7/1, a guide produced by the European Commission, that promotes a- common approach to clinical evaluation and specifically highlighted the section which referred to devices for unmet medical needs. One of our main concerns has been a lack of sufficient data demonstrating effective use of this device and we understand that due to the nature of the device, clinical trials would be extremely difficult. The proposals set out below are intended to allow you to gather clinical data in a controlled environment, with trained healthcare professionals, which will allow you to generate more robust results over time. These can then be incorporated into your clinical evaluation which, once sufficient evidence has been generated, may allow agreement of extending the availability of the device.

We are therefore requesting that you take all reasonable steps to ensure that your device should only be used in the following situations:
• By registered healthcare professionals or individuals with advanced life support training, only if currently recognised basic life support protocols have failed; or
• In situations where emergency services are unable to respond, for example on aeroplanes or ships, only if currently recognised basic life support protocols have failed; or
• On individuals in moulded wheelchairs, only if currently recognised basic life support protocols have failed.
Taking this into account, we would request that you alter your instructions for use, as well as any relevant supplementary marketing information to emphasise that your device should only be used under these conditions.

We would also request that you cease to market your device for use on children, in schools and in other public places such as restaurants and shopping centres.

I should advise that, based on the information provided to us thus far, we do not consider that your current plans for post-market surveillance, in particular the lack of structured post-market clinical follow-up, would be able to generate sufficient clinical evidence to expand the use of your device. The approach that we have proposed above should allow you to refine your plans for post-market surveillance; healthcare professionals will understand the experimental nature of your device and how it fits with basic life support and provide more structured post-market surveillance data.

I would like to thank you for your patience and co-operation in this matter. The MHRA believes the approach outlined in this letter, which at this stage is based on voluntary cooperation as opposed to formal regulatory action, strikes a balance that will allow you to continue your business but also gather information for clinical evaluation in a more controlled clinical environment that minimises the potential patient safety issues.

I would be grateful for a response to this letter by 20 September setting out your acceptance of the conditions in this letter and an outline of how you intend to comply with them.

Yours sincerely,

Graeme Tunbridge
Group Manager - Devices Regulatory Affairs
Tel: 0203 080 6901
Email: graeme.tunbridge@mhra.gov.uk

Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency
151 Buckingham Palace Road
London
SW1W 9SZ
United Kingdom
www.gov.uk/mhra
 



Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Re: anti-choking device in service at Union Community Schools, Iowa State Education Director: "This is a local issue" -- so I put it on the desk of the district superintendent

Three Dechoker devices in cabinet installed in Iowa's Union Community School District

On March 8, I blogged An Iowa school district recently installed Dechoker anti-choking device to respond to choking emergencies -- I've asked the state education department to review.

Based on a March 15, 2018 reply I received from Department of Education Director Ryan Wise -- see below -- when it comes to medical guidelines, apparently the state has zero oversight.

How much discretion do local districts have to determine what medical treatments are provided to their students? Are the districts equipped to make those determinations? Are students receiving the highest standard of care?


Read on...

From: Peter.Heimlich@gmail.com 
Subject: blogger inquiry
To: t_fleshner@union.k12.ia.us Cc: ryan.wise@iowa.gov
Date: Tue, 20 Mar 2018 14:10:53 -0400

Travis Fleshner
Superintendent
Union Community School District (UCSD)
200 Adams St.
La Porte City, IA 50651

Dear Mr. Fleshner,

Per the attached pdf [see below], I was referred to you - albeit indirectly - by Ryan Wise, Director of the IA Department of Education.

In a March 8, 2018 e-mail (published on my blog), I asked Mr. Wise to review the reported incorporation and installation of a plunger device called the Dechoker in your district's schools to be used to respond to a choking emergency.

Via my e-mail:

The Dechoker is not included the standards and guidelines of the American Heart Association, the American Red Cross, the American Academy of Pediatrics or, to my knowledge, any established medical organization. And a keyword search today for Dechoker on PubMed provided no results, so it appears the device has not been the subject of any research published in the literature.

In other words, the effectiveness and safety of the device appears to be unproven. Therefore, it's unclear on what basis the (UCSD) chose to equip its schools with the devices, hence this outreach.

...(It's also unclear if any district) officials obtained opinions from any medical experts or first aid organizations, or an opinion from the school district's risk manager. Would you please look into that and provide me with the results?
Via Mr. Wise's March 15 reply:
We have reviewed your inquiry and have determined that this is a local issue. The Department does not have authority over the district's decision to use these devices and there are no State rules that would prohibit the district's use of the devices.
Based on that determination, I'd appreciate your answers to some quick questions for a follow-up item I'm reporting.

1) Would you please provide me with copies of the documentation on which your district relied to determine that the Dechoker was an effective and safe treatment response to a choking emergency?

2) Did any district officials obtain opinions from any medical experts or first aid organizations, and/or an opinion from the school district's risk manager? If so, would you please provide me with details and documentation?

3) To my knowledge the Dechoker is not recommended by any established first aid organizations, therefore some might consider it to be an experimental medical device. With that in mind, have parents and guardians of students been provided the opportunity to approve or deny its use on their children? If so, would you please provide details and documentation? 

Thanks for your time/consideration and I look forward to receiving your answers. And if you have any questions for me, please don't hesitate to ask.

Sincerely,

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

cc: Ryan Wise


 

Saturday, March 10, 2018

Two Scoops: In $2m+ securities probe, state agents seized computers, files of Concord, NC company selling anti-choking device -- meanwhile in Louisville, the company's being sued by its former CEO [UPDATE: North Carolina TV investigative reporter picks up my story]

UPDATE 3/13/14: Last night via Anti-choking device business raided, accused of investment scheme, investigative reporter Matthew Grant at FOX46 in Charlotte, NC,  picked up my scoop and moved it forward, My 3/10/18 item is below the video.



source

In the course of researching my dad's bizarre career and his namesake anti-choking maneuver, I've occasionally reported about anti-choking devices that have been marketed over the years, for example, the Heimlich Helper, the LifeVac, and the Dechoker.

Click the links and you'll see that I've reported mostly about the LifeVac because, based on casual observation, that device has been more aggressively promoted via press releases, media reports, and social media. More promo materials means more for me (or anyone else) to report.

Two unrelated legal cases -- one in North Carolina, the other in Louisville, Kentucky -- involving the company marketing the Dechoker appear likely to provide me with more reporting opportunities.  

I. On February 21, I reported Re: $2 million investment scheme, North Carolina Secretary of State's Securities Division issues temporary cease & desist order to Concord company selling Dechoker anti-choking device -- meanwhile the company's UK division claims the device has saved 14 lives(!)

The date of the temporary cease and desist order was February 15, 2018.

To my knowledge unreported until now, according to a search warrant issued by the Superior Court of Wake County, that same day agents of the North Carolina Secretary of State's Securities Division seized computers and files from the offices of Dechoker LLC located at 4454 Raceway Drive in Concord.


Here's the 36-page search warrant with supporting records -- click here to download a copy.



This was posted yesterday on the website of Dechoker LLC:



 

II. Via FDA approves new lifesaving device based out of Louisville by anchor/reporter Ann Bowdan, WLKY-TV News,WLKY October 30, 2015:

(Recently), the Food and Drug Administration approved a new device being touted as an alternative method to the Heimlich [for responding to a choking emergency].

The alternative device is called the Dechoker, and its headquarters is right here in Louisville.

"The Heimlich works on positive pressure and we work on negative pressure, or suction. In other words, it's a vacuum,” Dechoker CEO Christopher Kellogg said.

..."Obviously there's a health care hub here and the city of Louisville has been absolutely wonderful to work with open arms," Kellogg said.

...But there are some skeptics.

Peter Heimlich, the son of Henry Heimlich, who created the Heimlich maneuver, questions the validity of the FDA’s approval of the device.

He believes more published research is needed. 
The headline and lede of Bowdan's story -- that the Dechoker was approved by the FDA -- appears to have originated with Dechoker LLC:


I'll ask the FDA and report the results.

To my knowledge unreported until now, a year after the WLKY report aired, Christopher Kellogg filed a lawsuit against Dechoker LLC in Jefferson County, Kentucky, Circuit Court claiming breach of contract, unpaid salary, and other allegations.

According to court records accessed today:


Here's the October 26, 2016 complaint and December 21, 2016 response. Click here to download copies.

Thursday, March 8, 2018

An Iowa school district recently installed Dechoker anti-choking device to respond to choking emergencies -- I've asked the state education department to review


In January 2016, some New York City and Long Island public schools were using a handheld anti-choking suction device called the LifeVac to respond to choking emergencies. I asked the city and state departments to review. For more information, see New potentially life saving device questioned by medical watchdog, by Joe Mauceri, PIX11 News, January 18, 2016.

Recently the Union Community School District in Iowa installed another handheld anti-choking suction device called the Dechoker. Today I sent the following letter. (Click here for my other reporting about the Dechoker.)


March 8, 2018

Ryan Wise
Director
Department of Education
Grimes State Office Building
400 E 14th St.
Des Moines, IA 50319-0146

Dear Mr. Wise:

This is to request that your agency review the following information and provide me with a determination if the following actions of the Union Community School District were in compliance with your agency's standards and guidelines.

Via Union schools receive medical ‘dechokers,' an unsigned January 12, 2018 article published by Vinton Newspapers:

LaPorte City/Dysart were gifted some new medical devices called the Dechoker, by the Dechoker company to promote their business.
“We have four cabinets with three different sizes of Adult, Child and Toddler at each of the four school buildings,” said Cheryl Wiebbecke, the school nurse, in a press release.
“They are mounted near the lunchrooms or gymnasiums at each building for choking emergencies...

“We will be prepared for choking emergencies thanks to the Dechoker company," said Wiebbecke.
The Dechoker is not included the standards and guidelines of the American Heart Association, the American Red Cross, the American Academy of Pediatrics or, to my knowledge, any established medical organization. And a keyword search today for Dechoker on PubMed provided no results, so it appears the device has not been the subject of any research published in the literature.

In other words, the effectiveness and safety of the device appears to be unproven. Therefore, it's unclear on what basis the district chose to equip its schools with the devices, hence this outreach.

Would you please include in your review the contents of the file
Iowa Union Community Schools.zip which includes the following referenced e-mails, school board minutes, and what appear to be photos of Dechokers in storage cases installed at the schools?* Please click here to download the file.

According to the e-mails and the school board minutes (see below), the Dechoker company (Dechoker LLC, 4454 Raceway Drive, Concord, NC 28027) gifted the devices and wall-mountable storage cases to the schools
in exchange for Ms. Wiebbecke agreeing to send out press releases about the gift. 

According to the e-mails, Travis Fleshner, Superintendent of Schools for the district, approved a December 18, 2017 presentation to the school board by Ms. Wiebbecke.

According to the minutes of that meeting:

Nurse’s Presentation:

Cheryl Wiebbecke, Union CSD nurse in Dysart, was present to show the board one of the dechokers [sic] the district has received. Cheryl’s attention was caught by the words “Breathing is mandatory” and she began reading about the dechoker. The dechoker is to help those choking when the Heimlich method might not be an option or isn’t working. The cost for the dechokers for all four school buildings would be approximately $1,600. She looked for grants to help pay the cost and when she wasn’t able to secure a grant, she called the company to see if they had ways for the district to purchase the dechokers affordably. The result was the company offering to give the dechokers and the cases to the district at no cost in exchange for some publicity to help grow their business. We now have a set of three dechokers (toddler, child, and adult), along with the cases, in each of the four school buildings.
According to the e-mails, in addition to the Vinton Newspapers article, Ms. Wiebbecke's public relations efforts also resulted in Breathing is mandatory, an unsigned January 17, 2018 article in the La Porte City Progress Review.

What's unclear is if Ms. Wiebbecke or any other school officials obtained opinions from any medical experts or first aid organizations, or an opinion from the school district's risk manager. Would you please look into that and provide me with the results?

Finally, would a representative of your agency please interview Ms. Wiebbecke and ask if she had any other relationship or further communications with anyone associated with Dechoker LLC and provide me with her response?

Thank you for your attention and I look forward to your reply. If your office has any questions I might be able to answer, please don't hesitate to ask.

Sincerely,

Peter M. Heimlich

Peachtree Corners, Georgia 30096 USA
ph: (208)474-7283
website: http://medfraud.info
blog: http://the-sidebar.com
e-mail: peter.heimlich@gmail.com
https://twitter.com/medfraud_pmh


* 

Saturday, February 24, 2018

My complaint against Akron Fire Department EMS officer who instructed FOX-TV Cleveland audience not to worry about breaking a baby's bones when responding to a choking emergency



SENT VIA E-MAIL & FAX

February 21, 2018

Stacey Doty
Employment and Selection Manager
Department of Human Resources
The City of Akron, OH

Dear Ms. Doty:

This is a complaint re: questionable, possibly harmful medical recommendations made by Joseph Shumaker, EMS Lieutenant at your city's fire department. I'm requesting that your office investigate the following
and to provide me with a determination.

Re: my February 14 blog item, Akron Fire Dept. EMS trainer re: responding to choking infants: Don't worry about breaking the baby's bones or cracking its ribs -- and a question for criminal attorneys, the following is from an interview that Lt. Shumaker, representing your city, gave to reporter Adrienne Dipiazza in a news report that aired February 13 on Cleveland's
FOX 8, How to save a life: Help someone who is choking:
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.
Per my website, in 2002 my wife and I started researching the career of my father, the late Henry J. Heimlich MD of Cincinnati, and the history of his namesake anti-choking maneuver. Since 2003 our work and my outreach to journalists has resulted in scores of mainstream print and broadcast media reports. We have never come across recommendations remotely similar to Lt. Shumaker's.

Further, Lt. Shumaker's recommendations do not appear in the guidelines of the American Heart Association, the American Red Cross, the American Academy of Pediatrics, or, to my knowledge, any other legitimate source of lifesaving first aid information. Further, I'd be surprised if his recommendations are part of your city's EMS training guidelines or those of any government agency anywhere in the United States.

To the best of my knowledge, Lt. Shumaker appears to have pulled his recommendations out of thin air. If that's the case, he provided unsubstantiated medical information to a reporter. More seriously, I'm concerned that his recommendations may result in serious injuries to babies or worse.

After publishing my blog item, I brought these concerns to the offices of Fire Chief Clarence Tucker and Mayor Dan Horrigan. The former did not respond to my questions and Ellen Lander Nischt, Mayor Horrigan's press secretary, told me that her office stands behind Lt. Shumaker's recommendations. I consider those responses to be unacceptable, hence this complaint.

In order to address the matter, this is to request that you obtain and review all relevant training materials and provide me with any documentation that supports Lt. Shumaker's recommendations. In the event no such documentation exists, this is to request that your office take appropriate action.

Thank you for your time/consideration and I look forward to your reply.

Sincerely,


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

cc: Donald Rice, Director of Human Resources

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Re: $2 million investment scheme, North Carolina Secretary of State's Securities Division issues temporary cease & desist order to Concord company selling Dechoker anti-choking device -- meanwhile the company's UK division claims the device has saved 14 lives(!)



Via the North Carolina Secretary of State's Securities Division:
On February 15, 2018, the Securities Division of the North Carolina Department of Secretary of State issued a Temporary Cease and Desist Order to Dechoker, LLC, Alan Carver, Russell Wadell, Mark Shores and Mark Honeycutt (the “Dechoker Respondents”). The Temporary Cease and Desist Order found that the Dechoker Respondents were not registered as dealers or salesmen of securities in North Carolina and offered and sold interests in Dechoker, LLC; these activities are in violation of the North Carolina Securities Act. The Temporary Cease and Desist Order ordered Dechoker Respondents to cease and desist offering unregistered securities and acting as securities dealers and/or salesmen in North Carolina while not registered to do so. The Temporary Cease and Desist Order gives the Dechoker Respondents thirty (30) business days in which to request a hearing. If no such request is made during that time, the Temporary Cease and Desist Order shall become final. Click here to view the Temporary Order.
According to the order (posted at the end of this item):

Dechoker, LLC, which "claims to sell a medical device that can remove an obstruction from a person’s airway," has a principal place of business in Trinity, Florida.

According to the Form K-1s produced by Respondents, more than 80 people have made combined investments of more than $2 million in Dechoker, LLC since 2010. According to those Form K-1s, more than 60 of these investors are residents of North Carolina.

Dechoker LLC maintains a business office and warehouse in Concord, North Carolina, however, the company has not applied for and has never been granted a certificate of authority to do business in North Carolina.

Alan Carver lives in Pasco County, Florida and/or Weld County, Colorado and is the incorporator, registered agent, and manager/member of Dechoker, LLC.
 
Russell Wadell, Mark Shores, and Mark Honeycutt are identified as executive officers of Dechoker, LLC. All live in Rowan County, NC.

Via the July 11, 2016 Wall Street Journal, published about six months before my dad died: 
Two new easy-to-use devices work like plungers to suck out obstructions in the airway, providing another option if standard treatment -- such as abdominal thrusts developed in 1974 by Henry Heimlich -- fail to clear the airway, say the companies who sell them.

...Both the Dechoker, $89.95, and the LifeVac, $69.95, have a plastic mask that provides a seal over the mouth and nose while suction is provided. The Dechoker looks like a large syringe, while the LifeVac’s plunger is shaped like a small accordion.
...Skeptics include Dr. Heimlich, now 96. Such a device may not be handy in the “unexpected instance that a person chokes,” Dr. Heimlich, a retired thoracic surgeon from Cincinnati, says in a statement...“Any action that delays use of the Heimlich maneuver or complicates the rescue can be deadly.”
Meanwhile in the UK, the Dechoker is making inroads -- and the London-based company director claims the device has saved quite a few lives.

Check out this unsigned item published in Care Home Professional dated February 15, 2018 -- coincidentally the date of the North Carolina order -- about a chain of  nursing homes based in Altrincham, near Manchester: New Care is first in UK to install life-saving Dechoker across all homes (emphasis added):
Fast-growing care home operator New Care has emphasised its commitment to safety by becoming the first care home group in the UK to install the revolutionary Dechoker anti-choking device in all its care centres.

...Chief operating officer at New Care, Cath Fairhurst, commented: “The comfort and safety of our residents is of the utmost importance to us, and when we heard about Dechoker we knew that it would be the right decision to provide it in all of our homes. It is now fully operational in all three care centres and will be provided as a company standard in every new one.”

Director for Dechoker UK, Matt Oakley, added: “Dechoker has already saved 14 lives and we are delighted that New Care took the decision to install our devices in all of their homes..."
Finally, Sidebar readers may remember this gramatically-inconsistent, unedited e-mail I received last summer when I reported about false claims that Mr. Carver's device was being used to protect the presidents of the United States and Turkey in the event of a choking emergency:
From: Alan Carver <acarver@dechoker.com>
Date: Wed, 12 Jul 2017 05:55:30 -0600
Subject: Re: Blogger investigation
To: "Peter M. Heimlich" <peter.heimlich@gmail.com>, Bayram Alkaya <alkaya.byrm@gmail.com>,
Sean Pittman <spittman@dechoker.com>

Peter,

They are not going to tell you anything with the way you handled this. I am very disappointed with you professionalism. There is a lot going on in Turkey, you put people at risk. Please just ask your questions and keep you slander to your self. I did not know you conducted your self like this. I have plans to deal with this, we are looking at our options. You are a fraud. Your daddy, no matter what you said about him, he saved thousands of life!! I bet you haven't saved one! You are not even in a position to give medical advice. You named your self right " Medfruad" I am sure you will edit this comment like you did 2 weeks ago. Don't contact me again until you grow up!


This item has been updated.

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Akron Fire Dept. EMS trainer re: responding to choking infants: Don't worry about breaking the baby's bones or cracking its ribs -- and a question for criminal attorneys

Clip via How to save a life: Help someone who is choking by Adrienne DiPiazza, FOX 8 News Cleveland, February 13, 2018:



Transcript at about time stamp :35:
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.
I have an inquiry in to the Akron Fire Department and will report the results.

Tangentially related, one of my research interests is tracking child abuse cases involving the alleged use of the Heimlich maneuver as an alibi.

I've compiled a number of media reports in which defendants claimed that severe or fatal injuries sustained by a baby or child in their care resulted from the adult supposedly responding to a choking emergency.

I shared my research with reporter Justin Strawser at the Sunbury, PA Daily Item who reported this November 13, 2015 story, Suspects often claim abuse injuries stem from CPR, Heimlich effort.

Here's a question for any criminal attorneys reading this: Can Lt. Shumaker's advice benefit a defendant in such a case?

Click here to e-mail me.

Friday, January 19, 2018

HuffPost axes columns by celebrity doctors Mehmet Oz, Deepak Chopra, Andrew Weil, Dean Ornish, Joel Fuhrman, Neal Barnard, David Katz and other MDs

Since its founding nearly 13 years ago, The Huffington Post has relied heavily on unpaid contributors, whose ranks included aspiring writers, citizen journalists and celebrities from the Rolodex of the site’s co-founder Arianna Huffington.

...On Thursday, it said it was immediately dissolving its self-publishing contributors platform — which has mushroomed to include 100,000 writers — in what is perhaps the most significant break from the past under its editor in chief, Lydia Polgreen...

(Recently) a contributor with the byline Waqas KH published an article about Felix Sater, an associate of President Trump, that he had been paid to post. The site has since deleted the article.
https://www.huffingtonpost.com/author/dr-sudip-bose

https://www.huffingtonpost.com/author/deepak-chopra
https://www.huffingtonpost.com/author/joel-fuhrman-md
https://www.huffingtonpost.com/author/mark-hyman
https://www.huffingtonpost.com/author/manoj-jain-md-mph
https://www.huffingtonpost.com/author/scott-kahan-md
https://www.huffingtonpost.com/author/kahn642-504
https://www.huffingtonpost.com/author/david-katz-md
https://www.huffingtonpost.com/author/dr-dean-ornish
https://www.huffingtonpost.com/author/dr-mehmet-oz
https://www.huffingtonpost.com/author/ipaulij-437
https://www.huffingtonpost.com/author/andrew-weil-md