Asthma Study Conducted at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital Questioned

Donville Inniss - Minister of Health

Donville Inniss – Minister of Health

A media source – The News Record – which serves the University of Cincinnati (UC) has questioned whether a “potentially controversial study” conducted  at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Barbados, received approval from the Institutional Review Board (IRB) at UC.   “The study tested whether or not a modified version of the Heimlich Manoeuvre could stop an acute asthma attack or treat asthma symptoms without contemporary treatment. The subjects’ parents gave consent and the results reported no adverse effects, according to the study. The 67 children who participated were between the ages of six and 16.”

The person asking all the questions is Peter Heimlich, the some of Henry Heimlich who is associated with the Heimlich Manoeuvre. He admits he has not uncovered any evidence of wrongdoing but he wants “to find out if the researchers and funders followed legal and ethical guidelines.” He [Peter Heimlich] is concerned that although Dr. Anne St. John confirmed that IRB approval was received, the name of the  IRB which provided the approval remains a mystery. Peter Heimlich is reported to have sent a communication to Minister Donville Inniss asking for the name of the IRB and when the Ethnics Committee approved the study.

See The News Record report – Questionable Study has UC Ties

  • Who approved these studies???


  • Hope this is not a case once again of information being kept from the public in bim and the information is only released by US, British or Canadian media, as usual.


  • Bdos Underground Talkshop


  • Big thanks to Barbados Underground for picking up the University of Cincinnati story. More details via this item I posted yesterday on my blog:

    Peter M. Heimlich
    Atlanta, Georgia USA
    e-mail: Peter. Heimlich[at]


  • The recent Posts are too dry
    Why The Blog aint saying much tonite ???



  • @Peter M. Heimlich

    You are welcome.

    It is puzzling why Dr. St. John if she knows approval was sought and received for the study would not have made that information available forthwith.

    Minister Inniss can you please clarify this matter so that Barbados’ reputation is not dragged through the mud on this issue?


  • @ David
    Bushie’s assessment:
    Heimlech looking for attention.

    Just saying….


  • @Bush Tea

    Then local officials should ensure the issue is deflated by identifying with haste whether the damn study was approved.

    On 8 December 2012 12:43, Barbados Underground


  • So every time some individual write a letter to the press complaining about some minor issue we should launch a major investigation and get back to that individual within weeks – least he run to the BLOGS?

    Give us a break ….

    Have you any idea how many such letters of complaint from little people (from all over the world now) are received by officials? Just the process or READING, sorting and prioritizing them is a challenge….especially for our jokey civil servants who cannot make simple decisions and must pass everything to the politicians for POLITICAL decisions.

    So if some RESPONSIBLE DOCTORS decide to explore a theory in an effort to get a handle on the epidemic of asthma – Wuh even if the failed to get some technical approval that is an international issue?
    Complain to the medical board and the university research council.

    …it is not like Ninja man was doing the study….


  • @Bush Tea

    The gentleman did not run to the blogs. If you read this piece it is a story which was posted by The News Record, the student mouth piece of a respected University. Mr. Peter Heimlich obviously uses Google Alerts or some other trigger to monitor subject of interest on the Internet and was drawn to BU. BU has not corresponded with Heimlich.

    This is the problem with government, how much time would it take for a clerk to go to a file and confirm this matter? Only yesterday VOB carried the news that in Bahamas it should logically take weeks to register a company but in Bahamas it takes two weeks. We really need to appreciate that in the Information Age it calls for a new way of managing how we do business.


  • millertheanunnaki

    @ Bush Tea | December 8, 2012 at 8:56 AM |

    Bushie, do you have any views (based on gut feelings of course) why there is such a high incidence of asthma in this small tropical island?
    Maybe you need to concoct one of your ‘Bush Tea’ specials and market it as antihistamine and asthma preventative to the local sufferers instead of all that imported ineffective artificial crap found in capsules, tablets and bottles.

    Bushie, you think this unusually and abnormally large presence of asthma sufferers has any thing to do with the awful smelly vehicle fuels from Trinidad belching in the air and interacting with compromised immune systems because of the “excessive” lack of sufficient plant material in young people’s diets?


  • @ Miller
    Since you asked…..

    the high incidence of asthma and other autoimmune afflictions like allergies is directly correlated with our modern lifestyle.

    1- the ridiculous increase in the use of antibiotics – both directly administered for all sorts of minor causes, and used in animal feed to guarantee profits.
    These antibiotics destroy CRITICAL probiotics in the stomach which result in poor digestion and with undigested food entering the bloodstream. naturally the body’s defence mechanisms kick and identify these regular food remnants as invaders …

    2- our ultra clean environment where children are raised in near sterile conditions. This robs the body’s defense mechanisms of the chance to develop defenses to these natural conditions. Bushie would guess that the white blood cells then get bored and decide to attack anything in sight …. LOL hence autoimmune deseases… 🙂

    3 – the overuse of processed foods by busy or nonexistent parents and the increase in airborne pollution as you suggested all add to an environment where this will only get worse. Unfortunately, the children bear the brunt of our destructiveness.

    Bushie’s solution:
    Live a life as close to the natural Bushman’s as is humanely possible. Natural plant based foods, plenty sunlight (Vitamin D), minimum sugar, NO SWEET DRINKS, clean water (with as little fluoride and chlorine as possible) and NUFF NUFF hard work (or exercise if you rich like Miller)….. And if Islandgal would come up the hill……


  • millertheanunnaki

    @ millertheanunnaki | December 8, 2012 at 9:13 AM |

    Well said, Bushie!
    Totally agree. Especially the part about the overuse of antibiotics and growth hormones in the animal feed and in the synthetic medicines given to humans, even babies.

    So you would agree with me that the importation of all this fake medication is a waste of foreign exchange and only endangering the health of our people who are used by the pharmaceutical industry (patented synthetic drug barons) and their local representative (quack doctors and pharmacists) as guinea pigs and consumer slaves and addicts?


  • The only area of concern in this matter for me would be if the parents of the childern were not aware of the methods taken and did not give permission,also if the govt was unaware of how the Study was been done and gave permission


  • @ac

    Did you read the article and the attachments with comprehension? There is a rigour which studies/experiments must ensure to ensure they are accept as best practice.

    On 8 December 2012 14:17, Barbados Underground


  • Bushie “especially the part about the overuse of antibiotics and growth hormones in the animal feed and in the synthetic medicines given to humans, even babies.”

    While this may contribute it does not explain the incidence of chronic Asthma in my family from 1920 till today.

    I have been an asthmatic since I was 5 or 6 years old and probably inherited it genetically but Barbados was “clean” back in the day.

    I understand the desperation of parents to find relief for their children. They tried Lizard soup and even “green tar” on a a relative but it did not work.

    There is nothing wrong with trying the “Heimlich” in a Hospital setting. If it doesn’t work the child can be “rescued”.

    My last hospitalisation for Asthma was 24 years ago and it was a near death attack. Since then I have taken corticosteroids as preventative maintenance and it worked for me.

    That is my layman asthma sufferer contribution..


  • David
    are you saying that since Peter Heimlich, wants to know if Anne et al followed legal and ethical guidelines, that folk in Barbados must jump and provide him with an answer? Who does Peter Heimlich think he is?

    Our concern should be whether Anne et al discovered information that can be used in the prophylas or treatment of asthma.

    Hemlich must understand that folk at QEH have far more ethics that the Americans who knowingly gave syphilis to blacks, who were unaware that they were receiving this microbe.

    your observations make lots of sense. There was nothing to me more like a miracle in the 70″s to see the effect of the administration of aminophyline and hydrocortisone IV in the treamtent of asthma, especially in children.

    Can you educate me as to how undigested food enters the bloodstream, or how asthma is a natural condition or how leucocytes become bored ?.

    Are you aware that contemporary antiasthmatic therapy is due to discovery of the pathways that come in to vogue when their are assaults on the respiratory epithelium in those prone to the disease?


  • @GP

    It is not surprising you would go defensive the way you have, a goody Doctor is being pressured!

    Would this matter have come to the wider public if Peter did not query it? He points out that he is not suggesting that any thing is wrong. Let us see the positive in his curiosity to know, a trait Bajans can do better to adopt.


  • David
    I am not being defensive at all. There is no issue here at all. Why do you think that a lady who has meant most of her life will do anything unethical in a research project. It is quite normal for researchers to try to duplicate studies that have been done elsewhere. There is no need for St John or the MOH to report to anyone about research in BIM. I really dont know why you are making a mountain out of a mole hill here.

    Who on earth is Hemlick? Who made him a judge or ruler of anyone in Barbados.

    Do you react to all the nonsense that the system in the US does to academics and scholars once they have not qualified in thier silly system?

    St John and others do not have to report to any one except the medical council or the law courts in Barbados about how medicine or medical research is done in Barbados.

    If the research has positive benefits Bajans would know soon enough wont they.

    And by the way no goodly doctor is being pressured. himlick is out of order in my view.


  • errata
    should be spent most of her life


  • What is the status of this study anyway? Given the rising incidence of asthma in Barbados especially among the young the QEH should encounter no difficulty filling the data sets.


    We just need to behave professionally and that is all. Just think if the man’s father did not make famous the manoeuvre potentially to could joke on that piece of bake turkey you love to pull on…lol. So be nice!


  • @Dr. GP

    I agree with your comments wholeheartedly. it seems to me that this person Heimlich, may be of the opinion that Doctors in lil Barbados cannot do anything. May be he wants a royalty for the use of the name, if not for the manoeuvre. itself.


    If the University of Cincinnati nor the Heimlich fellow did not pay for the research study, the researcher(s) does not have to tell them pang. As long as the research method is sound and the results can be validated in a future study, what is the problem?

    Beware of Americans waving olive branches.


  • Georgie

    I hear that lemon juice when added to that of a water melon and left to reduce over a fire will produce an aphrodisiac … Is that true? I got a water melon here ready to cut up …


  • GP
    Please write a prescription for BAFBFP to address his ED problem 🙂 .


  • Perhaps the QEH’s study should have included the effects that indiscriminate backyard burning of garbage is having on persons suffering with asthma,as well as on the general public. Only a morning this week, someone upwind of me in a Christ Church district, began burning garbage at 4.30 am, blanketing the whole area in smoke.
    I recall the Prime Minister,himself when he was AG,complaining about the nuisance to him personally of back yard burning. Some time earlier in the years, the Minister of Health, Mr Inniss, promised us that legislation to curb this antisocial practice, “will come sooner , rather than later.” How late, Mr Minister?


  • Georgie

    I hear Sargeant, but you could bet he checking back here every so often to see if you respond to me, hear … HA HA HA


  • More about the Barbados “Heimlich maneuver for asthma” study via this page I posted today on my web site — I’ll be updating the page with any new developments:

    Also, sending out an APB to all Barbados Underground readers. Do you know any children, their families, or others who were involved in the study? If so, would you please invite them to contact me?

    Again, thanks to the BU for providing this forum.

    Peter M. Heimlich
    Atlanta, Georgia USA
    e-mail: Peter. Heimlich[at]


  • @ David
    What do you want to bet that this man Heimlich is some kind of family to Zoe……? …some kind of 12th cousin or something so?


    Apparently neither viagra or cialis will work for BAFP
    A FERTIVE FREQUENT AND FUTILE search has been made for a substitute, but to no avail. lol


  • Georgie

    Believe, you disappoint Sarge too, hear … HA HA HA. Look I gun seek a second opinion. I don’ feel you try hard enough. You just ain’ want BAF (nor Sarge ..) to have a good time in the sun …!


    it seems that I did your blood tests UNETHICALLY
    please dont report me to HINDLICK. LOL


  • ANY study involving children must obtain parental consent and this should be in writing. approval must be obtained from the QEH to undertake the study and the Minister of Health is not normally involved in such a decision. The methodology must be known and the purpose of the research must be submitted to the IRC and approval give before any research commences. For the findings to be submited and published in any journal, proof of having been approved must be submitted.


  • To the point
    Doctors do “studies” every day. They try different medicines, different approaches. They take note of various observations and they may change their standard approach accordingly.

    Obviously, any study SHOULD be with the consent of the patient, and the parents if the patient is a minor.

    Not one S???? needs to be submitted to any IRC before commencement. The ONLY reason these people are even involved is that Rotary donated $1000 towards the study

    Nor does proof of approval need to be submitted before commencement. There are endless such studies published. Obviously, in the case of a peer review study that would qualify as an academic work such, standards would be important…. But you can bet your pants that if Bushie and GP were to get together and do a bush study which results in the cure for cancer, IRC or not, um would get publish REAL fast…..

    🙂 If only GP would fork his behind home we could come up with that cure in six to eight weeks between the BU family…


  • Listen .. I hear that water melon could be a cure fah cancer too … I still checking …! (You could imagine a man turn into a bat, fly through my window at night, extract some ah my blood which he run some tests wid, and I can’ report he … not even to a Catholic priest … wid a cross and a stake …?) Stupse … HA HA HA


    The last time I come home and asked for wuk they sent me to the psychiatrist here.
    the time before that they said I didnt know what i wanted.
    that was because I asked the MOH what he had to do and what he wanted me to do. YOU SEE I WAS LOOKING FOR A PROBLEM SOLVING JOB
    i didnt know at the time that jerome was unorthodox and wanted a HINDLICK.

    Had the same problem in 81 when I tried to get a job in BIOLOGY DEPT AT CAVE HILL. The prof and head of dept was a bulling fella from Bristol. He took one look at me and realize I was military medium, right hand over the wicket, instead of back of the arm leg breaks and googlies.


  • Coral dust!


  • @ GP
    They were right to send you to the psychiatrist. You came back asking for a job…? You think that Bushie inviting you back to ask for a job…?
    What damn Job what??

    So why you did not come and setup your own clinic / hospital/ medical school/ preventative health clinic….?

    Why you don’t come back and help Caswell start the damn BUP?
    Man you and Caswell suffering from the same inferiority complex. Wunna can’t picture wunna selves being in charge….

    What a national curse.
    Outstanding men of courage, wisdom and ability ….but without the vision of leadership…..
    A nation of outstanding academic achievements, but very willing to submit to outsiders running their affairs…..
    Get a grip GP!


  • RE So why you did not come and setup your own clinic / hospital/ medical school/ preventative health clinic….?



  • @ GP
    That is why there are BANKS….
    …or you can borrow the couple cents from Hants/ Pat. Those Bajan-Canadians got money like bush (pun intended 🙂 )


  • The Nation did a back page on this matter today. Dr. St. John stated the QEH doesn’t need Board approval and that no children were hurt in the study. Thanks to Peter we get an update on the study:

    Asthma probe

    By Maria Bradshaw | Sun, December 16, 2012 – 12:09 AM

    Quesstions are being raised about an asthma study in Barbados in 2002, involving children and using a modified version of the Heimlich manoeuvre.

    Peter Heimlich, son of Dr Henry Heimlich, who made famous the life-saving technique used on choking victims, has been investigating the Barbados study with a view to finding out if legal and ethical guidelines were followed.

    Since 2002 Heimlich has been carrying out extensive research and criticizing his father’s work, raising doubts as to whether his father actually developed the Heimlich manoeuvre.

    He told the SUNDAY SUN that medical experts had expressed “strong doubts” about his father’s theory that the technique could stop asthma attacks, pointing out that his father, now 92, had not worked in a hospital setting since 1996 when he was fired from a hospital in Cincinnati.


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