Monday, September 17, 2018

Colorado doctor who was disciplined in year 2000 Denver Bronco diet pill case is now spokesman for embattled Denver anti-choking device company


The past couple of years have been challenging for Dechoker LLC, the Denver company that markets an anti-choking plunger of the same name for humans and for pets.

Per my blog, the company was named as a defendant in three lawsuits alleging unpaid debts, one of which was filed in a Louisville, KY, court by the company's former COO.

Then in March, FOX46 Charlotte, NC aired an investigative report by Matthew Grant, Anti-choking device business raided, accused of investment scheme.

A few months later, ABC Action News in Tampa broadcast 'Dechoker' anti-choking device claims to save lives but has never been tested on humans by investigative reporter Jackie Callaway:

A few weeks later, Amanda Gilbert at the NBC News affiliate in Waterloo, Iowa, reported that the supervisor of a local school district which had installed the devices would remove or sent them back to Dechoker LLC "until they can provide FDA approval on them."

But if you think the company's down for the count, think again.

Via Dechoker is Moving Forward! by company president Alan Carver in an August 31, 2018 post on the company's blog:
We just wanted to make a quick post to bring everyone up to date on a few of exciting things going on at Dechoker!
TWO MORE LIVES SAVED - We received confirmation of two more lives saved, these two were both in assisted living homes in UK. This bring the total to 20 lives that would not otherwise be here today if not for Dechoker!

...MEDICAL DIRECTOR - We have brought on a Medical Director for Dechoker. The Medical Director will further help in assisting drive the Dechoker device through education and promotion within the public and medical community.
Dechoker is continuing to push for eradicating choking deaths throughout the globe. 

I was unable to locate any substantive details about details about the claimed 20 lives saved by the device, but I found this YouTube video embedded on the home page of Dechoker LLC's website featuring Randall L. Snook MD who practices at Advanced Integrative Medicine in Lone Tree, a suburb of Denver:

It's unclear if Dr. Shook is the company's new medical director, but he's featured in the new Dechoker testimonial video:

It's unclear if Dr. Snook has any background in resuscitation but a quick Google search turned up the following information.

He also promotes PHatea, a "100% Natural Chinese Dark Tea" :

Randall Snook MD Pha Tea from iHeartMediaDenver on Vimeo.

Via, whose website includes an undated CV for Dr. Snook:

Dechoker LLC appears to be trying to make a new start after facing some serious challenges.

A quick Google search revealed that, re: a widely-reported story about 18 years ago (NY Times, ABC7 Denver, etc.), Dr. Snook appears to have done the same.

Via Fallout stuns Romo's doctor by staff reporter Mike McPhee, Denver Post, October, 11, 2000:
The physician who wrote prescriptions for diet pills that were allegedly given to Denver Broncos linebacker Bill Romanowski says he had no idea the consequences would be so grave.

"It's not even banned by the NFL," Dr. Randall Snook said Monday, referring to the appetite suppressant phentermine. "If I had written the prescriptions for Bill, none of this would have happened."

But Snook didn't, and he lost his Littleton practice as well as his 4,000 patients. Last spring, the internal medicine/gerontologist pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor charge of unlawfully dispensing a controlled substance.
Via Romanowski says trial verdict restores his reputation, Associated Press, June 30, 2001:
Saying his reputation was restored, Denver Broncos linebacker Bill Romanowski was acquitted of getting prescription diet pills illegally.

...(Defense lawyers never denied that Dr. Randall Snook prescribed phentermine for other people that was meant for Romanowski. But they said Romanowski committed no crime because he was acting on the advice of Snook. They also said Snook told the Romanowskis they were doing nothing wrong.

...Snook pleaded guilty to providing the pills.