According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, each year in the U.S., Clostridium difficile bacteria or C. diff causes 250,000 infections requiring hospitalization, and 14,000 deaths. Catherine Duff, a 58 year old woman who’s suffering from C. diff was in renal failure after the antibiotics that had been given to her to fight the infection and life-threatening diarrhea weren’t working. Antibiotics are frequently fail to treat the infection, it even allows more C. diff bacteria to take hold. The doctors decided to remove her colon, even they weren’t sure if she could survive after the surgery. Duff said that she felt 95 percent better after the surgery. A fecal transplant uses the healthy bacteria from a normal stool sample. It will reseed a weakened intestine so it ca fight off infections naturally. Transplants have been given via a colonoscopy, which requires daylong prep, anesthesia and an outpatient clinic, but researchers are now working for a newer methods that are less costly, easier and can be done in an office of a physician. An associate professor of medicine and infectious diseases at Harvard Medical School, Elizabeth Hohmann, M.D., has been testing frozen stool sample given through a tube in the nose or during colonoscopy, as well as capsules containing frozen material that are swallowed with water. Both of which have resulted in 90 and 91 percent success rate. she said that the procedure worked on children as young as 2 and adults as old as 90. Some patients are too repulsed to try it and saying that they’d rather die but for Duff, who had C. diff eight times between 2005 and 2012 and underwent two fecal transplants, the experience was transformative.
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