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From: Peter Heimlich <peter.heimlich@gmail.

Subject: blogger inquiry
Cc:, alan walton <>, Karen Hollowood
< >
Date: Thu, 25 Oct 2018 16:16:07 -0400

Cory Pecorella
Allegany-Limestone Middle-High School

Dear Mr. Pecorella,

This is me

One of my research/reporting interests is anti-choking devices that have been marketed over the decades.
Along those lines, I'd appreciate your answers to some quick questions for an item I'm reporting on my
blog. My questions are brief, but require some catch-up reading, so big thanks for your time/patience in
that regard. (Incidentally I have no medical training or credentials, so my opinions on medical issues have
no standing, therefore I never venture any.)

Via this October 5, 2018 Olean Times Herald story by staff reporter Kate Day Sager, Dechokers at A-L
expected to keep kids safe:

(Tim) Hite, a professional firefighter, now promotes the Dechoker life-saving medical device
which is used to suction objects from the airways of toddlers, children and adults.

Recently, Hite sold several sets of the Dechokers to the Allegany-Limestone Central School
District, the first school district in the state to purchase the items.

Middle-High School Principal Cory Pecorella said the school district purchased two packages
of the suction devices for each of the campuses. Each package contains three Dechokers in
adult, youth and toddler sizes. The packages will be kept in the nurse’s office and the cafeteria.

Hite, a resident of Olean and firefighter with the city of Olean, said the product was created
about three years ago by Alan Carver of Colorado and is manufactured in Concord, N.C.*

“What it does is it replaces the abdominal thrust” which was previously referred to as the
Heimlich maneuver, Hite explained. “It creates a negative pressure in the mouth area as you
pull back and it forces the object out in reverse.”

...Pecorella said he learned of the device from Hite, whom he serves with in the Allegany
Volunteer Fire Department.

“(Hite) contacted me and wanted to demonstrate the product for us,” Pecorella said. “We
bought right into it. We have something that’s going to keep our kids safe and a better way to
locate an object in someone’s throat.”

Pecorella sad he or Hite will train the faculty and staff how to use the items.

...Pecorella said the device is useful in schools...

1) Before receiving this e-mail, were you aware of any of the following four media reports?
If so, which ones?
Six months before his death, my dad a provided a statement via my brother Phil for this July 11, 2016 Wall
Street Journal article by reporter Laura Johannes, Can New Devices Match Heimlich to Stop Choking?
LifeVac and Dechoker pose alternative to abdominal thrusts -- LifeVac and Dechoker pose alternative to
abdominal thrusts. The article's behind a subscription paywall; please click here to download a copy.
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

...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.”

Via Anti-choking device business raided, accused of investment scheme by investigative reporter Matthew
Grant, FOX46-TV News, Charlotte, NC, March 12, 2018:
The inventor of the Dechoker, a device marketed as a Heimlich Maneuver replacement, made
bold claims online and to investors.

"We believe that the Dechoker is 99 percent risk free," said investor Alan Carver.

State investigators raided the Concord, NC office last month seizing computers and financial
records accusing the business of running an "investment scheme," according to the search
warrant and other state records. [Click here for a copy of the search warrant which was
executed on February 15, 2018.]

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.

* Apparently Mr. Hite is unaware that shortly after the raid by NC state agents, Dechoker LLC relocated to

Via 'Dechoker' anti-choking device claims to save lives but has never been tested on humans by
investigative reporter Jackie Callaway, WFTS-TV News, Tampa, FL, May 21, 2018:
Dechoker inventor Alan Carver claims to have sold the anti-choking tool to three ResCare
nursing homes in Florida and to more than 200 doctors.

...ResCare refused to comment on whether it uses the equipment on patients.

The company admits the plunger-like product has never undergone a clinical trial on live

...The CEO, Alan Carver refused to answer our questions on camera. The company advertises
that it's registered with the FDA as a class one device. There's no oversight or regulation for
class one medical equipment.

Carver says this tool has saved 17 lives and is 99 percent effective but the company did not
provide information for any victims or doctors who would speak out in favor of the device's

Via Heimlich alternative? KWWL investigates new medical device offered to Iowa school by staff reporter
Amanda Gilbert, KWWL-TV News, Waterloo, IA, May 31, 2018; please click here for the video.
A company gave an eastern Iowa school district a new medical device, free of charge.
The company behind the "Dechoker" claims it can save the lives of young choking victims.

...KWWL noticed some red flags. First, on their website, it says the Dechoker is 'FDA
Registered.' That means it's not FDA Approved.

In fact a statement from the FDA that was sent to KWWL says, "The FDA has not approved or
cleared a medical device specifically to open an airway or facilitate breathing in a first aid or
rescue choking emergency. We typically do not comment on products that have not been
approved or cleared by the agency."

The Dechoker has also never undergone a live clinical trial.

...(Iowa State EMS Medical Director Dr. David) Stilley adds, "I'm involved in EMS on a daily
basis, and I have never heard of the device. If someone offered this device, free of charge, I
would be very cautious about putting it into use, until there's medical research to support it. I
personally, if it was my child, I would rather a bystander do their best with the Heimlich, than
use an unproven medical technology." [Click here for the complete, unedited interview with Dr.

KWWL spoke with the Union Community School District's superintendent. Superintendent
Travis Fleshner looked at our interviews and agrees that, "Those devices will be removed or
sent back to the company until they can provide FDA approval on them."


This morning I received these e-mails in response to a FOIL request I filed with the Allegany-Limestone
Central School District:
2) Have you sold any Dechokers and received any commissions? If so, any additional details
are welcome.

3) I've attached a January 27, 2016 letter to me from Karen Hollowood of the New York
State Education Department. Would you please review her letter with Allegany-Limestone
CSD Superintendent of Schools Anthony Giannicchi and let me know the results?

On August 24, 2018 I received the following e-mail from Alan Walton, former Director of Operations for
Dechoker Europe Ltd. Mr. Walton granted me permission to include it here:
[In 2016 I had seen a write up by an American company, Dechoker LLC] on the Dechoker and I
thought the idea was brilliant and so I suggested my services to them. Within a short time they
appointed me as Director of Operations for Europe (including the UK). I had (and still have) an
excellent distributor network across Europe and beyond. Considering the product was new I
gained immediate interest from my connections and many sales were made and the interest
level from the general public was high.

I believed in the product after it’s mode of action was explained by one of my high-level
anaesthetist colleagues. I did not take Dechoker’s word completely on face value as I always
like to double check things. I learnt this when I was running B. Braun Medical Ltd in the UK.
The other reason I wanted to check was that with the people I was dealing with at Dechoker
nobody had any medical qualifications or even limited medical knowledge.

To my great pleasure I found out that 5 lives had been saved at Rescare Homes in the US.

I appointed a large Spanish distributor, Iberian Medical srl who reported that lives had been
saved in a few Sanitas (BUPA) nursing homes. This was also excellent news and again I was
pleased. Neither of these organisations have replied to direct questions posed by the Press. One
would have thought that these organisations would want to shout their ‘lives saved’ from the

Since all of the investigations of Dechoker LLC have shown no actual proof with full details I
am suspicious that these could have been fabricated for commercial gain. The British
Resuscitation Council advised the MHRA that the Dechoker products should not be used by
untrained people and only those with a medical/paramedical/nursing qualification should be
allowed to use the devices. I understand that Dechoker LLC are trying to now register the
products through the authorities in Germany (MHRA equivalence) They have appointed a new
Director, Mr M Oakley within the UK and they are listed as ‘Dechoker UK’. Despite the
restrictions on the sale of Dechoker units in the UK there is proof from the wholesaler who
supplied the product internationally that product was shipped to Dechoker UK during this
restriction. To whom did these units go to - Mr Joe Public? I understand that Dechoker UK is
running training through a contact to circumnavigate the restrictions. Proof is needed that this
is the case. During the current MHRA restriction Dechoker units have been marketed by
Amazon in the UK and, presumably, without training of how to use the devices.
During my time with Dechoker Europe Ltd I was horrified to discover from an Dechoker
employee that the ‘assembly room’ (regulations dictate ‘clean room’ for assembly of this class
of device) were rodent infested and that mould was growing within the clean room. It is
important to note that some dangerous pathogens can survive when placed in a plastic cover
(even for a long time) Remember that the person having the choking episode could be
immuno-compromised, frail and many, normally harmless, pathogens could cause serious
problems for an individual. To have ensured that the assembly room was ‘fit for purpose’ then,
and only then, should the Company have been allowed to release the product. With all the
investigations currently underway in the US all of these facts will surface.

I terminated my association with Dechoker LLC in August, 2017 on the grounds of their
general incompetence and publishing information which was suspect in my opinion. The facts
now emerging totally justify my decision.

None of the lives saved and, especially, the Rescare and UK nursing homes ‘lives saved’ have
been proven and I think that a ‘drill down’ into the actual facts would be of public interest.

I personally have apologised to all my distributors as I was duped along with so many other

Alan J Walton, ABPI
CEO Torch Medical Services
Apt 15522, Chynoweth House
Trevissome Park, Truro

4) Do you have any comments re: Mr. Walton's letter, the four media reports, or any other
information about the Dechoker? If so, please feel free to elaborate. I'll publish whatever
you send me unedited and without comment.

Thanks for your time/consideration and I look forward to receiving your answers. If you can get back to
me before this weekend that would be great, but if you need more time please advise and I'll be glad to


Peter M. Heimlich
Peachtree Corners, GA 30096 USA
ph: (208)474-7283
Twitter: @medfraud_pmh


Kate Day Sager
Alan Walton
Karen Hollowood RN BSN MSEd