Monday, August 5, 2013

Barbados Ministry of Health confirms ongoing investigation of "Heimlich for asthma" study conducted on dozens of children -- "no institutional memory or documentation" located yet for the "alleged project"

The Barbados Ministry of Health (MOH) just confirmed to me that they're investigating a medical research study conducted on dozens of children about a decade ago.

From the abstract of the unpublished study:
The study population consisted of 67 patients aged 6–16 years with a control group of 34 patients and a study group of 33 patients...This study has provided data to support the potential benefits of the modified Heimlich Manoeuvre as adjunctive therapy for asthma....
According to recently-available documents from my father's archives (maintained by the University of Cincinnati medical library), the study was rejected by Cincinnati's Deaconess Hospital, then offshored to Barbados after funding was obtained from  the Heimlich Institute and the Rotary Club of Cincinnati.

According to correspondence exchanged by my father, Anne St. John MD of Barbados's Queen Elizabeth Hospital (lead investigator), and Charles H. Pierce MD PhD of Cincinnati (who helped arrange the project) the experiment was:

1) Approved by the Ministry of Health's Ethics Board;
2) Overseen by an Institutional Review Board.

I simply wanted to verify those two claims, so in February I wrote to the Ministry of Health, the agency responsible for overseeing medical research conducted in Barbados.

Tennyson Springer (source)

Per the July 10 letter (which I received today) from MOH Permanent Secretary Tennyson Springer: 
(I) wish to acknowledge receipt of your correspondence and inform you that the matter is being investigated. So far, there has been no institutional memory or documentation of this research. However, the Ministry of Health will continue the probe into this alleged project.
Click here for my web page about the Barbados study, including links to articles published in the University of Cincinnati News Record and the Barbados Sunday Sun newspapers, and in Barbados Underground, a lively Bajan blog.