Saturday, February 27, 2021

Compilation of reports/documents from medical & government organizations & (mostly) mainstream media reports about the LifeVac anti-choking device (Long Island, NY) [UPDATED: 5/1/21]

"Plumbers unclog pipes. If we stop and take a deep breath, and realize that's what we're dealing with, I went and found a plunger," (LifeVac developer Arthur) Lih said" (source). Based on the above photo (source), the sink plunger appears to be this $3 gadget sold by Lowes.

If I've missed any, please e-mail links to

For information originating from Lifevac LLC (Nesconset, NY) and to purchase the device, click here for the company's home page. For more information and to purchase the device, see the websites of LifeVac Europe (Devon), Lifevac Canada (Mississauga), LifeVac Australia (New South Wales), LifeVac Greece, LifeVac Poland (Stalowa Wola), LifeVac South Africa (Klerksdorp).

Click here for my similar compilation re: the Dechoker anti-choking device.


Executive Summary: 2020 International Consensus on Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation and Emergency Cardiovascular Care Science With Treatment Recommendations (ILCOR) by Nolan et al, Circulation, October 21, 2020:

Recently, manual suction devices (airway clearance devices) that use a vacuum to remove foreign bodies have become commercially available. These devices have not previously been reviewed by ILCOR and were included in this SysRev. The data in the peer-reviewed literature assessing the efficacy of suction-based airway clearance devices comprised just 1 case series of 9 adults, which the task force deemed insufficient to support the implementation of a new technology with an associated financial and training cost...The task force suggested that suction-based airway clearance devices should not be used routinely.

East Riding of Yorkshire Council (UK) March 2017 newsletter to area schools re: expert medical review by National Health Service hospital of "Anti Choking" Devices including the Lifevac

(Guidance) has been obtained through the Councils Public Health team, in partnership with Hull and East Yorkshire Hospitals (HEY), who have comprehensively reviewed the use of such devices particularly in a paediatric context.

It is recommended at this time that the device is not used until further evidence on suitability for paediatric use is published.

Does the Resuscitation Council (UK) recommend the use of airway clearance devices (ACD) in the treatment of the choking victim?, UK Resuscitation Council, January 2, 2018

Resuscitation Council UK is aware that several airway clearing devices for the treatment of choking are now available in the UK. There is insufficient evidence on the safety or effectiveness of these devices for us to recommend their use, and we are concerned that the use of these devices could delay established treatments for choking; for this reason, Resuscitation Council UK does not support their use. 

Appropriately trained healthcare professionals can already use advanced techniques such as suction or laryngoscopy and forceps for airway foreign body removal. We recommend that new airway clearance devices should only be used by trained healthcare professionals as part of a formal evaluation. 

April 5, 2018 Swedish CPR Council report re: anti-choking devices by Henrik Wagner MD PhD, Jan Gelberg MD, Andreas Claesson RN PhD. Click here for original Swedish version; click here for English version via Google Translate.

April 25, 2019 statement by the Spanish Council of Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation re: anti-choking devices. Click here for original Spanish version; click here for English version via Google Translate. 

January 27, 2016 letter to me from Karen Hollowood RN of the NYS Education Dept. re: the LifeVac & the agency's recommended best practices for choking rescue

August 30, 2017 determination letter from UK Medical and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) re: LifeVac anti-choking device (via my Scribd account) 


LifeVac developed to stop choking by Kristin Thorne


Long Island inventor's 'LifeVac' anti-choking device purchased by fire department by Tom Incantalupo, Newsday, July 16, 2015

Brentwood Fire Department purchases 30 LifeVac units by Tom Incantalupo, Newsday, September 24, 2015

Lindenhurst school district purchases LifeVacs by Tom Incantalupo, Newsday, December 3, 2015 

Heimlich remover! Son of ‘maneuver’ inventor wants investigation into anti-choking device at boro schools by Allegra Hobbs, Brooklyn Paper, January 14, 2016

New potentially life saving device questioned by medical watchdog by Joe Mauceri, PIX11 TV News (NYC), January 18, 2016

Life-saving invention could prevent any more choking deaths of children in school by Kirstin Cole, PIX11 (NYC), February 25, 2016.

Sarasota Police Department using LifeVac anti-choking device by investigative reporter Kate Flexter, ABC7 Sarasota, FL, April 7, 2016 which includes this clip:

KF: The issue is the device has not technically been approved by the Food and Drug Administration because it doesn't have to be. The FDA tells ABC7 that LifeVac is registered as a "moderate risk device" which makes it exempt from the clearance and approval process. But some doctors we talked to said it should be tested more thoroughly and is potentially dangerous. We showed the training video for the device to the head of pediatrics at the Florida Hospital in Tampa, Dr. James Orlowski.                                                                                                                 
JO: It seems that the pressure that they use before sucking back could potentially drive the object further down into the airway.                            
KF: Dr. Orlowski says the pressure created by the device could potentially cause damage to other parts of the body in the process.                                                                                                                                             
JO: If it can hold up a bowling ball, it can probably do a lot of damage to the airway and to other organs.

Welling woman broke down in tears when one of her medical devices saved OAP's life by Jake Bacon, London NewsShopper, June 9, 2016   

Life Vac anti-choking device designed in North Devon has just saved its first life by Laura Brainwood, North Devon Journal, June 14, 2016

Can New Devices Match Heimlich to Stop Choking? LifeVac and Dechoker pose alternative to abdominal thrusts by Laura Johannes, Wall Street Journal, July 11, 2016 (Paywalled) Phil Heimlich is my older brother -- PMH
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 released by his son, Phil Heimlich. “Any action that delays use of the Heimlich maneuver or complicates the rescue can be deadly.”
Kudos to WSJ for giving thorough look at ‘Heimlich alternative’ devices for choking victims by Susan Wei PhD, Dan Mayer MD & Joya Victory, Health News Review, July 18, 2016

LifeVac signs international distribution deal by Ken Schachter, Newsday, August 3, 2016

Anti-choking devices give piece of mind but don't replace Heimlich Maneuver by Liz Harrison, ABC30 News (Fresno, CA), September 27, 2016

A ‘last resort’ when life is on the line by Claude Solnik, Long Island Business News, December 15, 2016

LifeVac anti-choking device’s inventor faces fragmented market by David Reich-Hale, Newsday, December 18, 2016

Rutherford Local Becomes Spokesperson For Life-Saving Device by Arthur Augustyn, Daily Voice (Rutherford, NJ), January 31, 2017

Anti-choking LifeVac kits offered to East Riding schools by Hull Wyke Round Table by Elizabeth Mackley, Hull Daily Mail, February 10, 2017

Hull Wyke Round Table announcement letter cancelling the project and offering refunds to crowdfund donors, May 15, 2017.

Two Men Say Anti-Choking Device Could Have Saved a Boy's Life by Bryant Clerkley, WKRG-TV (Pensacola, FL), September 28, 2017 (featuring LifeVac LLC president Arthur Lih and vice-president Thomas Foley of Davie, FL)

LifeVac Donates More than 30 Units to Jackson County School by Ashton Williams, WMBB-TV News (Panama City, FL), October 26, 2017

Mother Of Audi Anderson Says Lifevac Could Have Saved His Life by Bryant Clerkley, WKRG-TV News, November 2, 2017

Heartbroken dad whose daughter, 6, choked to death on grape says this simple device could have saved her life by Tom Belger, The Mirror, November 7, 2017

Grieving parents in plea to medical chiefs by Alex Jones, Cambrian News (Wales), November 8, 2017

Creator of new product donates devices to local school district, police department by Victor Tun, Picayune Item (MS), December 9, 2017

source The anti-choking device that parents are now turning to by Dr. Sam Hay, Kidspot (Australia), March 20, 2018:
(That’s) where the LifeVac comes in - a hand held device that works like a fancy drain plunger.

...(The) device is capable of producing a degree of suction that far exceeds those achievable by any first aid technique.

It makes sense. Plus, the good news is, it works.

...Look, it’s not foolproof, and it’s not without some (small) potential for injury in toddlers and babies. But faced with the devastating alternatives, I’d encourage parents to consider having one handy, and definitely giving it a go after first aid techniques have failed and the ambulance is on its way.
Johnson Orthodontics donates lifesaving devices to local schools, Cape Gazette, Cape Henlopen, DE, March 25, 2018

Claim of Smear on Choke Device by Anthony Klan, The Australian, April 4, 2018

A Heimlich alternative? Wisconsin medical experts say anti-choking device needs more testing by Bryan Polcyn, FOX6 News (Milwaukee, WI), July 5, 2018 (features interviews with Courtney & Matt Bruegmann of Fennimore, WI, Fennimore Rescue Squad Chief Nathan Flynn, LifeVac president Arthur Lih and vice-president Thomas Foley, Mark Megna of Milwaukee, and Marc Cohen, Executive Director of the Wisconsin EMS Association.)
Not long after their son's death, the Bruegmann's learned about LifeVac.
..."If I would've just had one of these, maybe (my son) would be here," Courtney Bruegmann said.

The Bruegmann's found the $70 device on Amazon...
..."I'm not letting these kids keep dying," said Arthur Lih, the founder of  LifeVac.
Lih says his device is a matter of simple physics.
"Plumbers unclog pipes. If we stop and take a deep breath, and realize that's what we're dealing with, I went and found a plunger," Lih said.
...LifeVac claims to have mountains of evidence that the device works, including articles published by the International Journal of Clinical Skills, the American Journal of Gastroenterology, and the American College of  Emergency Physicians.
But at least two of those articles were authored by a doctor who is also Lih's sister...
Parents turn loss into a mission to save others by Erin Martin, Fennimore Times (Fennimore, WI), August 21, 2018

Choking victim Sherry Campbell’s legacy will be lifesaving device in every Northern Ireland school by Victoria Leonard, Belfast Telegraph, September 17, 2018

Fennimore parents turn loss into life-saving mission by Leah Linscheid, WISC-TV (Maidson, WI), November 5, 2018

UK takes cautious approach to Irish anti-choking device by Colin Coyle, The Sunday Times (Ireland), November 19, 2018

‘Seems fair to recommend:’ State EMS doc approves anti-choking device as backup option by Bryan Polcyn, FOX6 News, December 19, 2018

Idaho Falls woman advocates for putting "Life Vac" anti-choking devices in local schools by Rachel Cox-Rosen, KPVI-TV (Idado Falls, ID), February 19, 2019

Advocates say anti-choking device saved two lives in Idaho by Brennan Kaufman, The Post Register (Idaho Falls, ID), January 8, 2019

After son's choking death, Fennimore family hopes to prevent further tragedy by Bennet Goldstein, Telegraph Herald (Dubuque, IA), February 16, 2019:
"Unclogging a pipe is the same thing as unclogging a throat,” said Tom Foley, vice president of the company, which is based in Nesconset, N.Y. 
Accompanying video interview conducted by Telegraph Herald reporter Bennet Goldstein (who apparently did not interview the family doctor):

Courtney Bruegmann (emphasis added): After we lost our 9-month-old son in a choking incident, we had actually went to our family doctor and kind of spoke with her, like, y'know, is there anything out there that can try to, y'know, prevent this from happening or help in a situation? And she did some research online and came across the LifeVac.
This family lost their baby to a choking accident. They want the state to help save other lives; Bruegmanns push for safety grant for schools by Leah Linscheid, WISC-TV, April 30, 2019:
Matt and Courtney Bruegmann lost their baby boy, Camynn, when he choked on a bouncy ball two years ago. In the years since, they’ve poured their time and souls into researching the LifeVac...

Since Camynn’s death, more than a dozen law enforcement agencies have purchased their own. The Bruegmanns bought several themselves for the Lancaster School District, where Courtney grew up.

They presented the donations to the superintendent Tuesday.

...Rep. Travis Tranel (R-Cuba City) was on hand for the donation. He’s teaming up with Sen. Howard Marklein (R- Spring Green) to put together a grant program to help more school districts buy LifeVacs.

Entrepreneur invents life-saving device, FOX & Friends, FOX News, May 5, 2019

Anti-choking devices: a lot of servile "journalism" and no clinical trials (Spanish) by Esther Samper, Hipertextual, May 26, 2019; click here for English version via Google Translate

What is LifeVac and why has it "insulted" Spanish doctors? (Spanish) by Nuria Fdez Gámez & Laura Díez, Redaccion Medica (Sanitarias), June 1, 2019; click here for English version via Google Translate

Sometimes You Have To Do The Impossible Just To Prove Nothing Is -- Entrepreneur Arthur Lih invented a product that is saving lives by Lexi Dansker, Neirad, Darien (CT) High School, June 3, 2019

Choking baby saved by device brought into Northern Ireland after death of Sherry Campbell; One-year-old Killian was choking on a piece of carrot when his mum used the LifeVac and saved him by Jilly Beattie, Belfast Live, June 10, 2019

LifeVac saves 1-year-old boy from Lafayette by staff reporter Randall Newsome, WISH-TV News, Indianapolis, IN, June 13, 2019 includes interviews with the infant's mother, Morgan Hendrick-Luse (per comment below posted on Youtube aka Morgan Hendricks Luce-Araya) of Lafayette, IN; her mother, Toni Hendricks of Oakwook, IL; and LifeVac creator Arthur Lih of Massapequa, NY.

School presented with anti-choking devices by Dylan Davies, deputy news editor, Cambrian News, Ceredigion, Wales, June 21, 2019; also see my August 17, 2016 blog item, Since January, a choking death and three near-fatal choking incidents apparently occurred at a small nursing home in Wales -- company executives aren't answering my questions, so I've asked oversight agencies to investigate.

(LifeVac) Anti-Choking Device Is Saving Lives by UCLA Professor of Medicine Nina L. Shapiro, June 23, 2019
But sometimes, despite best efforts, these (anti-choking) maneuvers don't work. Now there are other options available, especially while waiting for emergency first responders. A lucky mom in Northern California is all too familiar with this. Crystal, who requested her last name not be used,* is a mom of an 11-month-old and two older children. When her oldest was a toddler, she had a choking incident. Thankfully, all turned out fine, but ever since then, Crystal has been acutely aware of potential choking risks. When she was pregnant with her youngest, she was shopping around for safety items and came across a LifeVac, a non-powered handheld suction device to remove foreign objects from the airway of a choking victim.

...Suddenly she heard a strange gurgling noise from that room, and her worst fear had come true. "She was choking. I ran over to her, and I thought I saw something sharp in her throat, and since I saw it, I tried to grab it." But then the baby gasped and the object was gone-- out of view, and now completely blocking the airway. "I tried back blows, but it was stuck." Her older daughter called 911 right away. Crystal kept trying back blows, abdominal thrusts, but "her lips were turning blue. Nothing was working." She then remembered that the device she dug out from her closet for the family trip was still in her suitcase. She ran to grab it, and used it on her baby. It took two tries, then "out popped a plastic piece [from a thick plastic bag clasp]." The baby's lips turned pink, she started to cry, and soon after, was puzzled why her mother looked so distressed. The paramedics arrived, checked the baby, and deemed she was well-- her breathing was normal, her lungs were clear

When it comes to safety, you really never can be too sure. As Crystal has told countless friends and family, both before this event, and more so subsequently, "Don't think it won't happen to you. You just never know."
* Testimonial letter apparently signed by Crystal Houston of Pittsburg, California describing a May 30, 2019 choking incident, the rescue of her 10-month-old daughter, Amarianna Robinson, using the LifeVac and the response by paramedics (via a June 22, 2019 Facebook post by LifeVac Australia)

Fennimore (WI) family advocates for state grants to install choking rescue devices in schools by Bennet Goldstein, Dubuque, IA Telegraph Herald, June 25, 2019
A Fennimore family is urging state lawmakers to back a legislative proposal that would allocate funding for the acquisition of choking-rescue devices for schools.

...The bill would allocate up to $500,000 to provide grants to public, private and tribal elementary and secondary schools for the purchase of the devices.

The proposal was introduced by Wisconsin Rep. Travis Tranel, R-Cuba City, and Sen. Howard Marklein, R-Spring Green, at the urging of the Bruegmanns.

“This seems like a simple device that wouldn’t be difficult to put into schools,” Tranel said.

...The Bruegmanns believe the boy’s death could have been prevented had they and emergency service workers had more tools at their disposal, such as a rescue device known as the LifeVac.

...In addition to donating several LifeVac units to area schools and the Fennimore Volunteer Rescue Squad, the Bruegmanns are advocating for the placement of choking-rescue devices in each of Wisconsin’s more than 2,000 schools.

Family pushes for anti-choking devices in schools after tragedy by Anthony DaBruzzi, SpectrumNews1 (Madison, WI) July 8, 2019:
Looking to spare others from their painful experience, the couple researched anti-choking devices...
The simple Devon invention that saved the life of 11-month-old girl and dozens of others by Joel Cooper, DevonLive, July 11, 2019:
An invention developed by a family run business in Devon has saved the lives of 31 people, including an 11-month-old baby girl.

Amarannia had been playing in her living room when she picked up a piece of plastic and put it in her mouth.

Her mother suddenly heard a strange gurgling noise from the living room and her worst fears were confirmed when she came in to find Amarannia choking.

But luckily she had access to a LifeVac, a piece of equipment that was developed in a North Devon village and is now use across the world.

...Another example of the LifeVac being there when it mattered was the case of one-year-old Killian who started choking while eating some carrots.

Killian started to turn red and then purple due to lack of oxygen and back blows, due to his age, were unsuccessful.

LifeVac was then used by his mother Morgan with the pediatric mask which dislodged the carrot on the first application.

Killian was taken to hospital due to the ordeal so that he could have an examination. He was checked over by a doctor and returned home with no adverse effects from the choking ordeal.

Amarannia and Killian are just two of 31 people whose lives have been saved by the LifeVac device.

The product was the idea of American Arthur Lih, who co-developed it with Eric Banagan, who lives in Combe Martin.

Kids' lemonade stand raises money for life-saving device by Briella Tomassetti, FOX5 NYC, July 15, 2019:
So far, about 30 schools on Long Island have added the Life Vac to their safety kits.

The life-saving tool has been placed in more than 200 schools across the nation.

Woman donates choking aids by staff reporter Melissa Klaric, The Herald (Sharon, PA), August 18, 2019 (emphasis added):
(Jamie Mattocks) donated five LifeVac Choking Aids to the Mercer (PA) Police Department and the borough. The devices cost $70 each.

...The Mercer resident also donated 10 aids to the Mercer East End Fire Department.

(Mattocks) was contacted by the inventor of the LifeVac Choking Aid, Arthur Lih, of Massapequa, N.Y..

...Mattocks also donated a LifeVac Choking Aid to Mercer Elementary.

“My goal is to get the LifeVac into all the schools in the county,” Mattocks said.

She is also going to reach out to the ambulance companies, who do not carry the devices.
Sarasota County School District gets 150 new devices that could help a choking child by Taylor Torregano, WWSB-TV (Sarasota, FL), December 4, 2019:
The Sarasota County School District just received a donation of 150 LifeVacs - an apparatus used to help save someone who is choking.

The district is calling it another tool in their toolbox to address a nationwide issue.

...“We were approached by a parent at one of our elementary schools whose daughter had a choking incident and she wondered if we were familiar with the device and if we would be interested in obtaining them for the schools," said Suzanne Dubose, supervisor of health services for the Sarasota County School District.

LifeVac took it one step further, offering to donate 150 devices, which were just received about a week ago.

Dubose said before they start using them, they’ll meet in a couple of weeks to train with the nurses and student resource officers, but even then, the Heimlich maneuver will still be their first response.

“If student or staff becomes non-responsive, our response at that point is compression, CPR, per protocol and it’s evidence based," Dubose explained. "The LifeVac, if it’s brought into a situation, can absolutely be used because again, another tool in the tool box.”

The LifeVac is a portable suction device used to clear an upper airway obstruction. It has faced criticism in the past from doctors who said there isn’t enough research on if it could do more harm than good.

150 anti-choking devices donated to Sarasota schools by Kimberly Kuizon, FOX13 News (Tampa, FL), December 17, 2019:

CISD receives choking preventable devices as donation by Ashley Rose, Cleburne (TX) Times-Review, December 18, 2019
Students at Cleburne (Independent School District) are now protected against choking.

The CISD board of trustees received a donation of LifeVAc kits from Pinnacle Bank during Monday night’s meeting.

CISD Lead Nurse Christi Gregory said each campus will now have a life saving kit, which includes three LifeVacs and a practice device to keep students from choking.

Pinnacle Regional President Tim Whitlock, Branch President Amber Witte and the founder/CEO of LifeVac, Arthur Lih, were present at the meeting to give the donation.

“What Mr. Whitlock has done is he challenged all Pinnacle Banks in Texas to purchase these LifeVac machines or devices for their school districts,” Gregory said. “He has made that challenge so maybe other community people will do that and all Texas schools will have this life saving device.”
East Quogue (NY) Wife, Mother Raises Funds To Buy Anti-Choking Devices In Husband’s Memory by Kitty Merrill, February 11, 2020, Southampton (NY), 27East (Southampton Press):
(The) Musso family is working to raise money to make sure that every ambulance company, school, day care center and police car in the region has a life-saving device known as a LifeVac.

...Ms. Musso created a GoFundMe page in memory of her husband of 30-plus years and is using the money to purchase the airway clearance devices, then donating them to schools from William Floyd - - which serves the contiguous communities of Shirley, Mastic, Mastic Beach, and Moriches -- to the Montauk School.

...Schools in Montauk, Southampton, Tuckahoe, East Quogue, East Hampton and Hampton Bays have already received them, she said.

...“We are grateful to Laura and her son, Dylan, for their donation of three LifeVac systems for our cafeteria,” Superintendent of Schools Lars Clemensen said. “Out of a crisis comes an opportunity. And the service that Laura and Dylan are giving to the region as a result of their own experiences will help make us all safer in our schools.”

Ms. Musso also wants to make sure area fire departments and police departments have the devices.

She recently spoke to Southampton Town Police Chief Steven Skrynecki, whom she said was “absolutely wonderful.”

...“The Southampton Town Police Department applauds Laura Musso’s efforts to see that all first responders are trained and equipped to clear an obstructed airway as quickly as possible,” Chief Skrynecki said on Friday...We are researching the product and anticipate incorporating it into the first aid equipment available to our officers in the field.”
The Jennifer Glenn case (College Station, TX) & reporter Jeff Prince's "disappeared" Fort Worth Weekly story

Via now-deleted v.1 dated February 19, 2020 via The Wayback Machine: Suction Friction; An anti-choking device comes to North Texas schools despite questions by Jeff Prince, Fort Worth Weekly. Original URL now leads to a 404 page (information deleted from re-published February 22 version is in bold):
Last summer, Quade Glenn was sucking on a Lemonhead hard candy when it lodged in his throat. His face turned red. He couldn’t breathe. His mother, Jennifer Glenn, was in another room but heard her daughter asking Quade if he was OK. The mother of three kids knew what to do. Her father taught CPR for years as a firefighter in Kennedale, and Jennifer was trained long ago.
This time, however, back blows and abdominal thrusts didn’t work on 5-year-old Quade. A desperate Jennifer tried Plan C –– a LifeVac device.
Jennifer had purchased the LifeVac more than a year earlier but had never used it.
...Last week, Jennifer, husband Blake Glenn, and their children invited me into their home and explained how everything went down that day.
...Around that time, Jennifer received a call from someone she knew at the Cleburne Times-Review telling her that “some weird guy” had contacted the paper to say LifeVac might have paid Jennifer to make her claims.

The man’s name was Peter Heimlich.

...In January, I began corresponding with Peter Heimlich after an article in the Cleburne Times-Review described how Pinnacle donated the LifeVacs (to area schools).
Via re-published, re-written v.2 dated February 22, 2020 which fails to inform readers of the alterations, Suction Friction; An anti-choking device comes to North Texas schools despite questions by Jeff Prince, Fort Worth Weekly, February 22, 2020:
Last summer, Quade was sucking on a Lemonhead hard candy when it lodged in his throat. His face turned red. He couldn’t breathe. His mother, Jennifer, was in another room but heard her daughter asking Quade if he was OK.

...Jennifer - who asked that the family’s last name be withheld for security reasons...[See videos and graphics below in which Ms. Glenn and LifeVac freely use her and her son's complete name.]

...Last week, Jennifer, her husband, and their children invited me into their home and explained how everything went down that day.

...She wanted to share the incident on Facebook, but her husband was apprehensive. He isn’t a fan of social media.
“He didn’t understand why I felt the need to share it,” Jennifer said. “I’m like, ‘Babe, if our story could help somebody else in that same situation, when they can’t get [stuck food] out, I would feel so good about that.’ As a mom, I want to know what’s good –– the best car seat, whatever.”
He agreed. The post went up. Jennifer couldn’t believe the response.
“It kind of went viral,” she said. “It went crazy.”
Her Facebook page is private, and friends asked if they could share the post on their public pages. Jennifer agreed after removing Quade’s photo. [See videos and graphics below in which Ms. Glenn and LifeVac LLC display Quade's photo]
 Around that time, Jennifer received a call from someone she knew at a local paper.
...In January, I began corresponding with Peter Heimlich after an article in a Cleburne paper described how Pinnacle donated the LifeVacs.
December 20, 2019 video/audio interview with Jennifer Glenn (using her full name) of College Station, TX, about her son Quade's July 2019 choking incident with Tonya Johnson, JoCo Community Radio, "The Voice of Johnson County, TX." In the 25-minute segment, Ms. Glenn (a self-described "lifestyle photographer") discusses choking rescue protocols, the LifeVac, and LifeVac developer Arthur Lih's visit with her family that week.

(5:45) Ms. Glenn says she first learned about the LifeVac while doing research to show "Blake, my husband. And a LifeVac ad popped up...I'm a researcher. I research everything before I buy anything."
(6:45) After describing how she purchased a LifeVac on Amazon, "When babysitters would come over, I'd be like, "Oh, here's the LifeVac. Here are instrictions. If you need to use it, this is here if they choke on something and you can't get it out."
(9:00) After describing the choking incident (in which she says, "Everything came up"), Ms. Glenn says "All (her) kids witnessed it...Ever since then my mission has been to tell parents about LifeVac"
(10:20) Glenn: "(LifeVac) sent me a brand new unit since (Quade) had -- I know this is pretty gross for radio -- he had thrown up everything inside there. That shouldn't have happened, but."
(13:20) "It just happened at the end of July...I know my son Quade's story has been shared thousands of times on Facebook and it's because I took to Facebook the day it happened...I wanted to tell everyone about it."
(14:50 ) "I really think (purchasing the LifeVac) was a God thing. I really do. Because I went back and forth on buying it..Do I really need to spend $70-something dollars on this?...Then I thought about it. I'm like, You know, even if it sit sits there and collects dust, it's the security of knowing that I have it. I can take it with me. And I do. I have a travel unit now in my car."
(17:00) "I'd recommend everybody to go to (LifeVac's) website)...You can read all the peer-reviewed journals. That's important to me...You can watch the cadaver videos. They did a lot of cadaver testing because, you know, when you think about something like this it's an emergency situation, you cannot, like, re-enact that. It's unethical, too."

(18:00) After providing directions how viewers/listeners may purchase a LifeVac, Ms. Glenn says, "I definitely think that needs to be a stocking stuffer"

(18:30) "(This week LifeVac representatives flew here and) got to meet Quade."
(19:45) "Everybody needs (a LifeVac), definitely...anybody in nursing home care, their day cares...(Pinnacle Bank's) mission now is to try to get these in all school districts with Pinnacle Banks. They're going to try to fund them so that every school can have them."
(21:30) "We are just spreading through Johnson County (schools) and beyond...(LifeVacs) should be like epi pens, it should be like defibrillators, they should be there...Of course, all of our friends have bought them. We've given them to our grandparents who watch our children. We've gifted them to chuch. So you've got to think about all the places where your kids spend time." 
Via v.2 of the Fort Worth Weekly article by Jeff Prince, "In October (2019, (Jennifer Glenn) appeared on what might be described as an infomercial alongside LifeVac inventor Arthur Lih on a news channel broadcast in New York." Here are two of those paid videos produced by WPIX-TV:

(1:00 ) Jennifer Glenn: "The first time I put (the LifeVac on my son Quade), he pushed it away. I think it scared him, the suction. But the second time I got in and got it out, he sat up and threw up everything, including the candy and the chips and everything he'd eaten that day. [Emphasis added.]
source source

Mercer (PA) American Legion donates LifeVacs to local schools, first responders; The Mercer American Legion Riders bought 27 Life Vac anti-choking devices they plan to donate to local schools along with police and other first responders by Matt Stone, WFMJ-TV (Youngstown, OH NBC affiliate), February 26, 2020:
The Life Vac was invented by Arthur Lih 9 years ago. He says it's helped save at least 54 people. He says the Vac is best used when the Heimlich doesn't work or when someone is in a wheelchair. Lih says the device is FDA registered.

"You go through the same scrutiny but you are registered not approved. You can't approve everything."
American Legion Riders donate LifeVac choking prevention devices by Melissa Klaric, Sharon (PA) Herald, February 27, 2020: 
With Harlowe Mattocks leading the effort, the (American Legion) Riders raised $1,200 to purchase 27 LifeVacs. The group donated them Wednesday to the Creative Learning Christian School, Jefferson Township police and fire departments, Lakeview School District, Mercer Area School District, Mercer County Career Center, Children’s Aid Society, Sunshine Preschool, Mercer Methodist Church and Mercer American Legion.
...Hendley Hoge, superintendent of Lakeview schools, attended the luncheon to accept Lakeview’s LifeVac.

“Going back to school today, I’ll feel more comfortable and at ease now that we have these,” said Hoge, a former Mercer superintendent. “So thank you for this.”
Poquoson (VA) nonprofit raises funds to buy devices for officers to save choking victims by Kofo Lasaki, WTKR-TV News (Hampton Roads, VA), September 10, 2020
Inventor of choking aid device credited with saving more than 70 lives by Kristin Thorne, ABC7 New York City, October 5, 2020


LifeVac CEO Arthur Lih invents device to stop choking: ‘I had to do something’ by Roman Chiarello, FOX News Health, December 23, 2020. Includes this same-day FOX & Friends video interview with on-air personality Brian Kilmeade: 

Arthur Lih Interview with Curtis Sliwa, WABC Radio (NYC), January 28, 2021:

Call for LifeVac device in child settings for choking emergencies by Nathan Louis, Watford (UK) Observer, February 26, 2021:

More than a thousand people have signed a petition calling for a medical device to be made readily available in a choking emergency.

Craig Grant set up the petition shortly after the tragic death of two-year-old Sadie Salt, who passed away in hospital in November after choking on a sausage at her nursery in Radlett.

The petition is being supported by Sadie’s family, and Mr Grant believes Sadie’s death was "potentially preventable" if her nursery had a device called a LifeVac.

Interview with LifeVac LLC sales & marketing vice president Heidi Beth Felix, The Rich Valdez Show, 77 WABC radio (NYC), March 15, 2021

LifeVac Changes the Game (interview with Arthur Lih), 77 WABC radio (NYC), Bernie & Sid, March 26, 2021

Life Vac [sic]: A Device that could help save a life by Jordan Segundo, Good Day Sacramento, KOVR-TV, March 28, 2021

Save A Child From Choking with LifeVac by Debbie McFadden, KWQC-TV, Davenport, IA, March 31, 2021

Tuesday, January 19, 2021

Bed, Bath & Beyond confirms to me that they're dropping MyPillow products

On January 16, I emailed this inquiry to Jessica Joyce, Senior Manager of Public Relations at Bed, Bath & Beyond:

In recent years, about once a year my wife and I order about $100 worth of this excellent product from your company. As it happens, we recently placed and last week received order #BBB7121236315 which we haven't yet opened.

Via this tweet by attorney Ben Meiselas at, this morning it came to our attention that your company sells My Pillow products.

...Does your company intend to initiate a review to determine whether Bed, Bath, & Beyond will continue selling My Pillow products? If no review is expected, would you please provide instructions on how I may return our recent order for a refund?

About an hour ago, I received this reply:


We are continually improving our product assortment, which includes plans to offer an array of unique and exclusive Owned Brands from Spring 2021.

As previously announced, we have been rationalizing our assortment to discontinue a number of under-performing items and brands. This includes the MyPillow product line. Our decisions are data-driven, customer-inspired and are delivering substantial growth in our key destination categories.


Mike Wiles 
Head of Customer Care

Is a Greenville, SC, chiropractor/social media star using patients to test an experimental medical device? I've asked the state to review [UPDATES: 1) Vendor of the "Y-Strap" wrote me that the device is not marketed to be used for any medical treatment; 2) The FDA's taking a look; 3) South Carolina is investigating with a pending decision by Chiropractic Board]

January 16, 2020

Click here to direct download a copy of my January 14, 2020 letter to South Carolina's licensing agency requesting of review of chiropractor Joseph Cipriano's use of the "Y-Strap decompression tool."

The Y-Strap is a black, mostly fabric harness that looks like something from an S&M dungeon. In Joseph Cipriano’s YouTube videos, it's placed behind the necks of prone patients who, in the moment before the crack, typically tense as if bracing for a crash.

Cipriano, a chiropractor based in Greenville, South Carolina, has become a YouTube sensation in the past 18 months, taking his channel from inception last March to more than 850,000 subscribers ...“I literally watched every video I could find on the Y-Strap first,” says Xavier, a patient of Cipriano’s. “It’s pretty daunting to think you’re allowing someone to pull apart your spine like a Lego.”

“Coowaa,” goes the sound as Cipriano yanks the Y-Strap and patient's skull away from their body: a mix of them being dragged and cracks that ricochet down the spine, caused by bubbles forming in the synovial fluid around joints. The noise is followed by either laughter, a grimace, or an emotional release that can include crying. “I feel like I just grew two inches,” says one woman.
Via my letter (which includes links and text from the WiredUK article and another article recently published in Vice):
As a result of research by my wife and me into my father's bizarre career, I developed an interest in experimental medical treatments/devices, medical ethics (including the use of human subjects in unsupervised medical research), and oversight responsibility of public health authorities. The following situation in your state appears to include all of those topics.

...This is to request that your office review the following information and provide me with a determination if (Greenville, SC, chiropractor Joseph) Cipriano’s treatment of his patients using a device called the “Y-Strap decompression tool” is in compliance with your agency’s guidelines.
Superior Balance SL is a company in Seville, Spain, that markets the "Y-Strap" in the US and other countries. Via my letter (on which I courtesy-copied Jeffery Shuren MD JD who heads the US Food & Drug Administration's medical devices division):
I searched and and the FDA’s database of registered devices and failed to locate any information regarding whether the “Y-Strap” is registered with that agency, so yesterday I phoned Superior Balance SL in Seville and a company representative informed me that the device is not registered with the FDA.

When I asked if the device has been the subject of any published studies, the representative replied, “The Y-Strap hasn’t been the subject of any clinical trials. Because there is no clinical proof that it works, we don’t sell it as a medical product.”

Therefore, Mr. Cipriano appears to be using his patients to test the medical benefits of the “Y-Strap.” In your review, would you please determine which if any Institutional Review Board is overseeing his research?
Big hat tip to Myles Power for tweets that introduced me to this story. He also steered me to videos from which I made these clips of Cipriano using the "Y-Strap" to aggressively yank the necks of his patients. (I included the videos in my letter to the state agency that licenses him to practice in the Palmetto State.)

UPDATE: On January 20, Tomas Lopez, president of the Seville, Spain company that markets the "Y-Strap" sent me a complaint email requesting I change this blog item. In a same-day reply, I declined and sent him some questions. I haven't received a reply.

Via his email:
(We) do not market (marketing) [sic] our product as a medical product...

We never say they are intended to diagnose, treat, cure, nor prevent any disease or health condition.

Click here for both emails which I'm sharing shared with South Carolina's licensing agency and the FDA.

UPDATE: On January 27, the FDA wrote me that they're taking a look at my concerns about the "Y-Strap."

UPDATE: On June 8, 2020, Erica Williams at the SC Dept. of Labor Licensing and Regulation's Office of Investigations and Enforcement emailed me that my request has been assigned to investigator Kevin Pate.

UPDATE: On January 19, 2021, Mr. Pate emailed me, "The complaint before the SC Board of Chiropractic Examiners (2019-23) is still pending. The investigative aspect of the case has been completed but the Board has yet to render a decision...At this point I cannot provide a date for a Board decision as the case has been designated for additional review. The Board meets next month (February 4th) and it will not be on the docket at that meeting. I would hope the case would be ready for the following Board meeting in the Spring."

Saturday, October 17, 2020

My letter today to the Composite Medical Board of Georgia re: Richard D. McCormick M.D.

Sent via email to and faxed to (404)656-9723 

October 17, 2020

Jonathan McGehee
Director of Investigations
Georgia Composite Medical Board
2 Peachtree Street, NW, 6th Floor
Atlanta, GA 30303-3465

Dear Mr. McGehee:

According to What is unprofessional conduct? on your agency’s website:

According to the Medical Practice Act, unprofessional conduct includes "any departure from or failure to conform to the minimal standards of acceptable and prevailing medical practice and shall also include, but not be limited to the prescribing or use of drugs, treatment or diagnostic procedures which are detrimental to the patient as determined by the minimal standards of acceptable medical care…"

Re: licensee #69037, Richard Dean McCormick M.D., this is to request that your agency review the following information and provide me with a determination whether or not Dr. McCormick has violated the standards of unprofessional conduct.

According to Dr. McCormick's licensure information on your agency's website, he graduated from the Morehouse School of Medicine in 2010 and completed a residency at Emory University in 2013. According to his LinkedIn, Dr. McCormick was an emergency medicine physician in the United States Navy from 2013-2017 and from 2017 to the present he has worked as an emergency medicine physician at Gwinnett Medical Center and Northside Hospital. According to the licensure information on your agency's website and a search of the website of the American Board of Medical Specialities, he is not board certified. A PubMed search of the literature failed to locate any articles listing him as an author.

In other words, it appears Dr. McCormick has no displayed expertise in any medical field except emergency medicine which, since obtaining his Georgia license on December 7, 2012, he has been practicing for less than seven years.

Nevertheless, per the attached October 6, 2020 letter signed by 120 Georgia health care professionals, since February of this year, Dr. McCormick has represented himself in media reports and via social media as an expert in the fields of epidemiology, immunology, and public health:

On February 27th, Dr. McCormick suggested the country had nothing to worry about, stating that “nobody in the United States has died from [COVID-19]. We have zero cases in Georgia. To put this in perspective, 12,000 people die a year of the flu.” At the time of this statement, 82,736 persons had been diagnosed and 2,814 people had died of COVID-19 globally.

On February 29th, Dr. McCormick tweeted: “Strong decisive leadership prevented this situation from being much worse,” and “Everything gets worse with panic.”

On March 9th, Dr. McCormick blamed the media for “creating panic and hype to create headlines” regarding COVID-19, as cases in the US began to spike.

On March 16th, Dr. McCormick stated in a video that COVID-19 would be "a bad memory" in "two months." By March 16, there already had been 4,679 cases and 97 deaths in the US. Two months later, there would be 1.474 million cases and 91,697 deaths in the US, including 37,212 cases and 1,598 deaths in Georgia.

On May 16th, Dr. McCormick used his credentials as a physician to urge the reopening of the country while the spread of the virus was still not under control. A dramatic surge in cases, hospitalizations, and deaths occurred following Memorial Day, including in Georgia.

On May 26th, Dr. McCormick said Governor Kemp “made a bold move to open back up” and falsely claimed “data shows we’re doing it safely.”

...On April 9th, June 1st, and July 3rd, Dr. McCormick promoted, without evidence, the use of hydroxychloroquine for treating COVID-19. The FDA revoked its EUA for hydroxychloroquine on June 15, 2020 on the basis that it was unlikely to be effective for treatment but had known and potential side effects, thus no longer meeting EUA criteria. In his June 1 appearance on One America News Network he also mentioned using “other drugs” including ivermectin, doxycycline, and zinc, none of which have evidence for efficacy.

...On June 1st, Dr. McCormick incorrectly claimed that the coronavirus "wasn't spreading" because the country was developing herd immunity to the virus. The virus was, in fact, spreading rapidly at that time, as evidenced by the fact that US cases would rise from 1.8 million on June 1 to nearly 2.7 million on July 1. During that month, over 20,000 people would die in the US and over 700 in Georgia, bringing total deaths to 128,417 and 2,827, respectively. McCormick’s unsubstantiated theories about herd immunity have been repeatedly discredited by multiple experts. CDC Director Redfield recently testified to Congress that fewer than 10% of Americans are likely to have immunity, far short of the high levels needed to provide true community “herd” immunity. Moreover, experts have said that “herd” immunity without a vaccine would require a minimum of 50% of the population to have immunity and would result in as many as 500,0002,100,000 deaths in the US, an unimaginable toll to pay.

On September 8th, Dr. McCormick repeated the discredited and dangerous claim that the country had reached herd immunity: “I’m very proud to say we’re reached a point of saturation… Once you reach about 15-25% of the population you do develop a herd immunity. We’ve reached that right now.” Stating that herd immunity has been reached is tantamount to telling the public that further mitigation through masks, social distancing, and other measures, is no longer required. In the same video, he also falsely stated that, “The youth are not at risk for this disease.”

...On September 8, Dr. McCormick stated that “We should have the vaccination out by about November 1.” Both Dr. Anthony Fauci and Dr. Redfield testified under oath to Congress that a vaccine would not be widely available to the general population until at least Spring of 2021. 

In your review, this is to request that you include the entire letter (which includes hyperlinked citations to the sources of Dr. McCormick’s statements).

2) According to a May 27, 2020 interview with reporter Stephanie Myers of the One America News Network (OANN), Doctor discusses fight against COVID-19 & GOP congressional race in Georgia:

SM: Hydroxychloroquine continues to be a trending topic as numerous doctors report seeing success treating COVID-19 patients with the drug. One of those doctors is Dr. Richard McCormick, an emergency room physician in Georgia who’s also running for the Peach State’s 7th Congressional District...As a doctor yourself, what are some cases where you’ve seen hydroxychloroquine treat patients with coronavirus?

Dr. Richard McCormick: So one of our standards is when we admit a patient, and that means they’re sick enough to be treated in the hospital, is we use hydroxychloroquine as one of our standard treatments...Remember this is a novel virus. 

On June 13, a couple weeks after the OANN interview, Katherine Watkins -- who handles media relations for Gwinnett Medical Center and Northside Hospital – wrote me that neither hospital treats COVID-19 patients with hydroxychloroquine.

Since then I’ve written to Dr. McCormick requesting that he provide the name of the hospital where “we use hydroxychloroquine as one of our standard treatments (for COVID-19).” I’ve received no reply, therefore I’m concerned about the veracity of the information he provided to OANN’s audience. Further, since he apparently only works at Gwinnett Medical Center and Northside Hospital, he may have mischaracterized the treatment protocols at those facilities.

This is to request that your agency ask Dr. McCormick to provide the name of the hospital to which he was referring and that you determine if his televised claim was in compliance your agency’s standards of unprofessional conduct.

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


Peter M. Heimlich
Peachtree Corners, GA 30096 USA
ph: (678)322-7984‬


Monday, August 24, 2020

Here's why the New York Times "disappeared" a strong critical quote from a prominent Georgia Republican about Marjorie Taylor Greene, a GOP QAnon follower likely headed for Congress

Republicans willing to criticize the bizarre, delusional conspiracy theory known as QAnon are harder to find than hen's teeth.

So when this critical quote by Karen Handel -- a GOP household name in my state of Georgia who is now running for Congress in a district adjacent to mine -- showed up on the evening of August 11 in a New York Times report by veteran journalists Matthew Rosenberg, Astead W. Herndon and Nick Corasaniti -- Marjorie Taylor Greene, a QAnon Supporter, Wins House Primary in Georgia -- it unquestionably had news value for readers and for the record:

But the next morning, here's the same part of the story:

The updated version included no explanation to readers why Ms. Handel's quote was scrubbed -- the original version's available via The Wayback Machine -- so via emails and tweets I asked the three reporters

No reply, so I emailed and left a voice message for the paper's Politics Editor Patrick Healy.


No reply, so I left a voice message and emailed Standards Editor Philip Corbett who replied later that day.

Time: Tue, Aug 18, 2020 at 6:25 PM
From Phil Corbett <>
Subject: Re: blogger inquiry with editorial concern

Dear Mr. Heimlich,

Thank you for your note. I've gone over this with the editor who worked on that story, and I am confident that there were no ethical problems in how it was handled. This was simply routine editing of a live, developing story that went through multiple versions online and in print.

The story changed and grew during the evening, particularly with more material on the Ilhan Omar race in Minnesota. As often happens, some earlier material was cut as new material was added. (In print, of course, we still have finite space for a story. And even online, editors often cut material to keep a story at a manageable length for readers.)

The final version continued to make the point that some Republicans opposed Greene, and included examples beyond Handel.

To your related question, we append corrections or editors' notes when a story has been changed to fix a factual error or other journalistic lapse; we don't append notes to point out other, routine editing changes, which would do little to serve the typical reader.

Best regards,
Philip B. Corbett
Associate Managing Editor for Standards
The New York Times

In my thank-you reply, I politely expressed my disagreement with the decision and asked Mr. Corbett to verify the accuracy of the MIA quote to which he replied:

(Obviously) if we thought the quote was wrong, we would do a correction.

Therefore, even though the quote's no longer in the paper of record, in my opinion it's still in the record.

Along the way I also asked Karen Handel to verify the quote. Perhaps not surprisingly, I didn't receive a reply.

Via the Associated Press report about her victory in the GOP primary, here's Marjorie Taylor Greene:

“So the Republican establishment was against me. The D.C. swamp has been against me. And the lying fake news media hates my guts,” she said. “Yep, it’s a badge of honor.”

Based on her incendiary words, I assumed Ms. Greene would welcome the opportunity to fling some fire and brimstone at the New York Times for scrubbing a critical quote about her. After all, couldn't doing so be construed as "lying" to readers?

And the scrubbed quote came from Ms. Handel who could certainly be considered a member of the "Republican establishment." 

So I twice emailed a polite request for a comment to the outspoken Ms. Greene, assuming she'd welcome a seemingly juicy opportunity to condemn these twin targets of her opprobrium.

Based on casual observation, she appears to be a woman of few silences, so I was surprised not to receive a reply.

In any event, if one of Ms. Greene's potential constituents or someone else asks her about Ms. Handel denouncing her as unfit to be in the GOP, I'd be interested in the results.

Wednesday, July 8, 2020

Scorching letter & press release from Will Knight, a candidate in the current race for Maricopa County Attorney, calling out opponent Julie Gunnigle re: her role in the abusive, baseless prosecution of Annabel Melongo


Last week I blogged High-profile Arizona political race pulls in the Save-A-Life Foundation scandal & the Annabel Melongo cases about a skeleton in the closet of Julie Gunnigle, a Phoenix attorney running in the upcoming Democratic primary for Maricopa County Attorney. 

Since then I was directed to the June 25, 2020 public letter and press release below that by one of her opponents, attorney Will Knight.

The original version of this item only included the letter.