http://thechronicleherald.ca/novasco...splant-himselfC. difficile patient denied procedure because guidelines not in place
SYDNEY — A Cape Breton man took matters into his own hands after being turned down for an unusual gastroenterological procedure in a Sydney hospital last month.
"And 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 Monday.
The Albert Bridge man, who asked The Chronicle Herald not to publish his name, 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.
Frustrated, ill and determined to rid himself of the infection once and for all, he gave himself what is called a fecal infusion or enema on Friday.
"It’s a nasty topic to discuss, but fecal transplants work, and I was not ready to wait any longer," the man said.
With feces 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.
On March 9, Dr. Baroudi Fashir was set to perform what is known as a fecal transplant, which involves inserting donated and tested feces into the patient’s large bowel with a colonoscope.
The procedure is said to restore the bowel’s natural bacterial environment.
Although the hospital’s medical advisory committee had approved the protocol for the procedure, there were no set guidelines for it so it could not go ahead.
The doctor was surprised Monday when told his patient had performed the procedure himself at home.
"He did it by himself?" Fashir said. "It’s not good to do by himself."
He said he would not advise anyone to do such a thing.
"Absolutely not, because there are many things to consider, and it’s not for every patient," the doctor said.
"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."
Fashir said he understands the man’s desperation.
"It’s very painful to have C. difficile — it’s not a good disease."
But not everyone who tests positive for C. difficile is a candidate for a fecal transplant, Fashir said.
He said he believes the hospital will approve the procedure in a reasonable period of time.
"The administration said they would let me know and assured me it will happen, but I don’t know how long," he said.
"In fact, they can do this in one day, but they have so many committees it has to go before, but this is a simple procedure that does not constitute a hazard to the hospital."
Greg Boone, spokesman for Cape Breton Regional Hospital, couldn’t say how long it will be before the guidelines are in place and the procedure can be performed at the hospital.
"This procedure has never been done in the province before, and we need to research to gain some insight into how it’s done elsewhere," Boone said.
As for the C. difficile sufferer, he said the Sydney hospital would only add to its reputation if it became the first facility in Nova Scotia to approve the procedure.
"It would be a feather in their cap," he said.
I smell shitty puns incoming.
But its incredible how shit can help people.