Posted by: Chris Maloney | October 19, 2015

Setting Aside Your Own Blood For An Operation…And Stool?

The process of donating blood before an operation for your own use is considered a wise one. Even though the blood supply is checked for the things we know about, there are other things we may not know about yet. (Or just be learning...)

Blood makes sense, but stool? (For those of you who’ve missed the microbiome revolution, have a look.) Now there’s a renewed interest in donating your own stool for personal use after chemotherapy destroys all your gut flora. A NYT article says Sloan Kettering in New York is starting a program to donate your own feces to yourself after treatment. The initial results were a decreased risk of dying after treatment, which is a big plus in my book.

If you don’t happen to be a patient at Sloan, you may be able to donate and store your own elsewhere. Openbiome stores fecal material, but the strangest hurdle exists. You can only get your stool out to treat a C. difficile infection, not for “reconstitutional” purposes. Why? Because fecal material is classified as a drug, not as a tissue like blood. OK, poop is a drug. Right. I’m trying to think of a one-liner that can do that one justice.


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