Taking home cures to the extreme: Man carries out 'faecal transplant' on himself to beat infection (and he says it worked)
03:44 GMT, 6 April 2012
A Canadian man has carried out a bizarre 'faecal transplant' on himself – and claims it worked.
The unnamed man from Cape Breton in Nova Scotia, Canada gave himself an enema containing faeces from his cousin in a bid to beat a bacterial infection.
The unusual procedure is usually carried out by doctors, who use it to repopulate the gut with healthy bacteria.
They use a tube into the patient’s stomach to insert around 30g (1oz) of faeces, which is taken and blitzed in a household blender with some salt water. This is poured through a coffee filter to leave a watery liquid.
Bacteria: A man infected with C. difficile carried out a 'faeces transplant' on himself to cure himself of the illness
However, the Canadian DIY enthusiast decided to do it himself with an enema.
The man took matters into his own hands after being turned down for an unusual gastroenterological procedure in a local hospital last month.
'I’m feeling good, but my fingers are crossed and I’m hoping and praying it doesn’t come back,' the 66-year-old man said during a telephone interview with the Nova Scotia Chronicle Herald.
He said he has suffered from a bacterial infection known as Clostridium difficile, or C. difficile, since undergoing routine surgery at Cape Breton Regional Hospital 18 months ago.
C. difficile infection is caused by antibiotics wiping out swathes of bacteria in the gut. It gives the surviving C. difficile bacteria room to explode in numbers and produce masses of toxins which lead to diarrhoea and can be fatal.
'It’s a nasty topic to discuss, but faecal transplants work, and I was not ready to wait any longer,' the man said.
Infection: The Canadian man picked up the bacterium while in hospital (file photo)
With faeces donated by his cousin, whose stool had been tested for blood-borne infections or parasites, the man mixed up a slurry with water and performed the procedure in his own bathroom.
Doctors at his local hospital had planned to perform the procedure, which is said to restore the bowel’s natural bacterial environment.
They planned to insert donated and tested faeces into the patient’s large bowel with a colonoscope. However, the hospital found there were no guidelines for the relatively new procedure, so could not go ahead with it.
His doctors said they were surprised when told he had carried out the procedure himself.
'It’s not good to do by himself,' said Dr Baroudi Fashir, who was due to carry out the procedure.
'In the first place, the enema does not get the product into the large bowel, and just putting it into the rectum is not proper.
'The donor stool has to be screened to make sure there is no infection, or cancer or HIV – it is very dangerous.'