Fecal transplants help to cure deadly bacterial infection - AmericaNowNews.com

Health

Fecal transplants help to cure deadly bacterial infection

A breakthrough medical treatment for a deadly bacterial infection that might sound strange, if not gross. But apparently this new method offers hope when all else fails.

It's estimated C. diff will sicken half a million Americans this year. It's a potentially fatal infection called Clostridium difficile or C. diff for short.

It attacks the colon, clearing out good bacteria, leaving a toxin that causes extreme diarrhea. It can also lead to a ruptured colon, kidney failure, blood poisoning, even death.

C. diff is a superbug and can be drug resistant. Even when antibiotics work, a number of people get the infection all over again the moment they stop the drugs.

"The patients I'm seeing are the patients who are getting C. diff over and over and over again," said Dr. Michael Edmond.

Dr. Edmond ia an internationally known expert in infectious diseases, and one of the few doctors in the country who has performed fecal transplants.

"They say, 'oh this is horrible, this is gross, disgusting.' But, if you've had diarrhea for 3 months and you can't leave your house and I say this has about a 90% success rate, your response is going to be how fast can we do it," said Edmond.

It seems a little more medieval than modern, and this may even gross you out just a little bit, but there's a real science behind fecal transplants happening inside hospitals and why they work.

"We take a stool sample from a healthy individual and we give it to the patient who has C. diff," said Edmond.

He inserts a tube into your nose, down your throat and into your stomach. He then takes a healthy stool sample from a donor- usually a family member. The sample is mixed in a blender, passed through coffee filters and puts into a syringe. It's then injected into the tube, straight into the C. diff patient's stomach.

"The rational here is, I try to give them back normal bacteria that should be in their gut and make the C. diff go away," adds Edmond.

The idea dates back to 4th century China when people ingested feces to treat food poisoning. It's even used by veterinarians with horses.

Copyright 2013 America Now. All rights reserved.

  • Most Popular StoriesMost Popular StoriesMore>>

  • Six deadly foods for dogs

    Six deadly foods for dogs

    Every pet owner knows a dog can get into just about anything around the house. One woman found that out the hard way when her dog ate a bunch of grapes! Turns out, that's one of the most dangerous foods
    Every pet owner knows a dog can get into just about anything around the house. But these common snacks could be fatal for Fido.
  • Fugitive Friday: Central Virginia's Most Wanted

    Fugitive Friday: Central Virginia's Most Wanted

    Friday, April 18 2014 3:06 PM EDT2014-04-18 19:06:17 GMT
    Fugitive Fridays tracks down Central Virginia's most wanted. Take a look at the photos and see if you can help police track down these suspects.
    Fugitive Friday helps track down Central Virginia's Most Wanted.
  • Wiping the "sleep" from your eyes

    Why not to wipe the "sleep" from your eyes

    The Sandman may lull you to sleep, but he also leaves a few sprinkles behind in the corners of your eyes. People call it sleep, eye goop, crusties or sand, but no matter what you call it, the gunk keeps
    The Sandman may lull you to sleep, but he also leaves a few sprinkles behind in the corners of your eyes. People call it sleep, eye goop, crusties or sand, and no matter what you call it, it always appears after you've awoken.
Powered by WorldNow