Tuesday, April 09, 2013

The Princess of Poop

Remember a while back I blogged on the practice of using feces from a healthy donor to cure Clostridium Dificile infections in sick patients? Well, the procedure is now being performed here in Charlotte, NC.

Before Kee prepares a donation, she dons two surgical masks that she has sprayed with a “Rain Fresh” fragrance from an aerosol can.

“Two things you need in this job,” she said. “A sense of humor and good air freshener.”

Properly masked, gowned and gloved, Kee drops a scoop of the sample into a cheap Hamilton Beach blender and mixes it with salt water to produce what she calls “liquid gold.”

Each blender gets used only once.

When the mixture reaches the right consistency, she pours it through a gauze filter, and then fills more than a half dozen huge syringes. These go to Schneider, who uses them to transfer the healthy material into a sedated patient as part of a colonoscopy.

“There’s a big ‘ick’ factor” to the job, Kee said. She lost a few assistants who couldn’t stand the smell. But Kee embraces her reputation as “the Princess of Poop” and keeps her focus on the patients.

“You’re helping people,” she said.

Apparently feces transplants were used by the Chinese as long ago as the fourth century, and have been used in treating animal disorders for a while, too.

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