Home > News > Regional
Friday May 9, 2014 MYT 12:00:00 AM
Friday May 9, 2014 MYT 7:54:20 AM
A FAECES transplant may smell –and sound like an odd cure – but it can potentially be used to treat common ailments such as irritable bowel syndrome if it catches on.
Two patients at the National University Hospital (NUH) have already found welcome relief.
Healthy bacteria from a donor’s faecal matter were used to help restore their digestive systems to full health earlier this year.
Patients who typically require this treatment are those who have been put on strong antibiotics, which kill all but the most resistant bacteria.
But the surviving bacteria can cause problems, from frequent diarrhoea to ruptured intestines, and even death.
NUH sees 20 to 30 cases of such gut infections every month.
Only about two-thirds of patients respond to conventional treatment methods, and even then, the problem may recur.
While the faecal procedure is common overseas, NUH doctors say it has not caught on here due to the “yuck factor”. For, of course, the first step is to collect stool from donors – which is more complex than it sounds.
Donors must pass a health screening and this is “as strict as that for the usual organ transplants”, said Dr Calvin Koh, a registrar at NUH’s gastroenterology and hepatology division.
Then, the collected matter is processed to extract the “good bacteria” and rid it of undigested food, and put into the patient’s intestines via a tube.
Civil servant Chan Xiu Li, 24, could not help uttering “Holy s***” when told of the treatment, but would not refuse it. “Why not? I want to live.” — The Straits Times / Asia News Network
Tags / Keywords:
Modernist photography spans the globe at St Ives show
Visitors get a detailed insight of Emerald Isle during St Patrick’s Day celebrations
Sick and elderly Singaporeans pack JB
Mass learning session draws more than 6,700 participants
Serial flasher and molester gets jail
Nigeria president warns against bloodshed ahead of Saturday poll
Islamist fighters kill seven in Somali hotel, troops regaining control
Nigerians uprooted by Boko Haram angry at losing chance to vote
Nestlé rewards consumers with biggest promotion ever
The great South Australian adventure
Living away from Malaysia can trigger a lot of different longings
US House committee advances 'threat-sharing' cybersecurity bill
Getting back on their feet
UCTS buildings designed to keep out heat, save energy
Copyright © 1995-2015 Star Publications (M) Bhd (Co No 10894-D)