The Phoenix

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Poop Transplant Saves Grandmother

I really hope you haven't just eaten. If so, I suggest you skip this post for a time when you can be sure you won't lose your lunch.

83 year-old Ethel McEwan of Scotland contracted a very serious intestional bacterial infection called Clostridium Difficile. This is a highly deadly "superbug" and was not responding to antibiotics. So what did the doctors do?

They gave her a dose of her daughter's poop.

Yes. Poop. Feces. Excrement. Doodie. Crap. Shit. Turd. Ass Goblins. Lincoln Logs.

How did this process work? The treatment involved taking her daughter's poop, liquifying it, and then feeding this liquid poop down a tube into Ethel's stomach. This method helped restore the bacteria level in her belly, which in turn helped her fight off the illness.

Here's what Mrs. McEwan had to say about her treatment:

When you tell people about the treatment, they wrinkle their noses,” says Mrs. McEwan. “But it’s not like they put it on a plate and have you eat it. You don’t ever see or smell a thing. People will have a blood transplant or a kidney transplant – what’s the difference with this?”

The difference is that you ate liquid turd.

Oh well, that's the way the poopie crumbles.

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Blogger Karen said...




11/27/2007 12:59 PM  
Blogger Kyahgirl said...

Makes me proud to be a scientist. Wish I could have convinced some of my customers that the only solution to their problem was for them to eat shit! That's brilliant.

11/27/2007 1:30 PM  
Anonymous Jennifer said...

Actually this makes perfect sense. Our overuse of antibiotics, which acts as a carpet bomber on our gut is doing mucho harm by also eradicating the good floral bacteria in our guts.

After the second was born my intestines were outta whack and I couldn't recover because the diarrhea was so bad. Once I started taking various cultures too repoopulate my intestines (ha!) I started to feel better.

A good indicator that things are outta balance is bad breath, foul smelling gas (no stink is not normal), loose stools, undigested food in the stool - and the opposite problem - constipation.

What people don't get is that we are nothing more than a giant walking mass of cells and organisms that have evolved over time to live symbiotically. When one system gets out of control - it can kill you. For instance, there are something like 500 different types of bacteria in the gut that CAN kill you if they get out of control. On the other hand those same bacteria facilitate digestion in some form or another - which - without them will also kill you.

I know too much about poo.

11/27/2007 2:50 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow. I've learned a lot about poo by coming here. Will this show up in Trivia Pursuit?

11/27/2007 3:09 PM  
Blogger ozymandiaz said...

Wow, that's just... ummmm....
Have they never heard of probiotics? THere are any number of ways to rebalance the intestianl fauna without, ya know, EATING SHIT.
I guess this could enter a new phrase into our venacular, though. Instead of "eat shit and die" we now have "eat shit and live". I'm sure that will draw a few bewildered looks.

11/28/2007 9:19 AM  
Blogger :P fuzzbox said...

This is where that Mary Poppin's tune comes into play. 'Just a spoonful of sugar helps the medicine go down.'

11/28/2007 11:42 AM  
Blogger KC said...

So, I guess the Activia Yogurt just couldn't do the job.

11/28/2007 2:44 PM  
Blogger delmer said...

I understand the science behind this ... but I gotta wonder ... what kind of mailing list are you on that you find out about things of this nature?

11/28/2007 8:35 PM  
Anonymous the weirdgirl said...

I'm too tired to think of anything shitty to say. Oops, I mean "witty".

(Brings a whole new meaning to the term "diarrhea of the mouth".)

((I should have stopped when I was behind.))

11/29/2007 12:09 AM  
Blogger Sherri said...

While I'm glad she got better, it completely disgusts me at the same time. Ugh!!

I don't know if I could have done the same thing had I been in her shoes.

11/29/2007 12:36 PM  
Blogger David Amulet said...

I think this story is crap.

-- david

11/30/2007 9:31 AM  
Blogger The Phoenix said...

karen, It is pretty gross. But hey - you gotta stay alive.

kyahgirl, How funny. Amazing how many scientific discoveries come about via accident or maybe even a joke.

jennifer, You're a poo professor.

jenn, It might. I hope you'll stash this little nugget of information into your brain.

ozy, Or "eat shit and not die."

fuzz, Maybe a whole gallon of sugar would help. I wonder if she belched, what it smelled like.

11/30/2007 11:14 AM  
Blogger The Phoenix said...

KC, You know - that was MY first idea. Great minds think alike.

delmer, It's a shitty mailing list.

WG, Yuck!!!!

sherri, I would think all of us would do it if we had to. I hear the illness is very painful - and lethal.

David, Thanks!

11/30/2007 11:15 AM  
Blogger cube said...

There is an old expression, "You can't make soup out of shit." I can that expression is full of crap ;-)

11/30/2007 2:41 PM  
Blogger Nessa said...

Can you imagine the conversation when the doctors thought of this?

12/01/2007 2:59 PM  
Blogger Phats said...

This is just nasty on so many levels!

12/02/2007 3:30 PM  
Blogger Perplexio said...

And here I was picturing an old priest and a young priest sprinkling holy water on her and chanting, "The power of the Golgothan compels you..."

12/03/2007 11:39 AM  
Anonymous kim @ said...

Wow, that's actually pretty interesting in a nasty kind of way. I want to know who came up with this, you know? Who thought "hey, maybe if I feed patient X poop, she'll feel better?"

12/03/2007 11:19 PM  
Blogger DaBich said...

That's just wrong, but hey, if you wanna live, I guess you gotta give it a try, right?

12/04/2007 6:24 AM  
Blogger BrianAlt said...

Did you see the article in the Science Times today about microbes in the intestines?

12/04/2007 12:39 PM  
Blogger Jamie Dawn said...

GAG me!!!!!!
Did she really say, "What's the difference??"
Good grief, lady.
You ate poop!!!
POOP, for crying out loud!!!

Well, I'm glad it worked, but I bet she had some rank breath for awhile.

12/08/2007 10:23 PM  

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