BBC report incorrect in stating Birmingham hospital UK’s largest centre for faecal transplants

We have read with interest the BBC news item saying that 20 people with Clostridium difficile in the West Midlands have been saved by being fed liquid faeces.

Whilst pleased that this news item heightens the awareness of how faecal extracts are being seen as a welcome method to fight disease, the report is incorrect in stating that the Public Health England’s laboratory at Heartlands Hospital in Birmingham has become the largest centre in the UK for faecal transplants, having now treated more than 60 patients.

We far exceed more patients than this each month!

Onto the contents of the story, which was published this week, is in line with what many have known about this treatment on Clostridium difficile for a long while, with the Birmingham scientists claiming a 90% success rate in people whose treatment with conventional antibiotics has failed.

Clostridium difficile – or C. diff – is a bacterium which causes extreme diarrhoea in some patients and can be fatal.

The report tells how the stools are frozen, and are then filtered with a sterile solution to make a liquid, which is given to the patient via a tube placed down their nose into their stomach.

We wish to point out to those who have watched this footage and read the article; the procedure here at the Taymount Clinic is considerably different to this practice.
We are FMT specialists. Fecal Microbiota Transplant consists of the entire commensal bacterial colony; the gut microbiome, being extracted under protective conditions from carefully-screened donor stool through a complex and equipment-heavy laboratory process, to become complete refined Microbiota.  This is then prepared for storage in a protective medium and placed in quarantine in an ultra-deep freezer until a full cycle of donor tests, 3 months after harvesting, ensures that there are no major pathogenic conditions that can threaten the health of the patient.

Importantly, the reason for placing the implant under quarantine conditions and testing the donor again after a suitable period and not using the implant immediately after processing, is wholly on the grounds of patient safety.

More about the Taymount FMT process can be read in our blog –

In the meantime, we shall forgive the BBC their error in relegating us from first spot and instead applaud the fact that once more column inches and cyberspace clicks are being devoted to work, which is helping so many people.

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