Doctors Save Toddler From Killer Infection by Transplanting Mother's Faeces Into His Stomach

When Tatum Williams's 20-month-old son Jesse was struck down with a killer gut infection, she felt powerless to help.

But after a succession of conventional treatments had failed, she was called on to provide a last-ditch attempt to save him in a rather unconventional way.

Doctors said there was a procedure used successfully in adults which involves transplanting faeces into a patient's body to clear up serious symptoms caused by the bacteria C.diff.

'I was all for it,' said the Baltimore mother-of-two.

'We had been dealing with his C.diff for nine months. He was losing weight because of everything he would lose in his diaper.'

Jesse, who was born extremely premature, has suffered various health problems which have been exacerbated by the C.diff infection.

He had already been given strong antibiotics and injections to boost his immune system, but they were not effective.

According to federal health officials, C.diff causes some 14,000 deaths every year and make another 300,000 seriously ill.

'They really had no other option,' Dr Sudhir Dutta, the head of the gastroenterology department at Sinai Hospital in Baltimore who performed the transplant in March, told NBC News.

C.diff occurs when the spore-forming bug invades the intestine, usually after healthy bacteria is killed off by heavy use of antibiotics. It is often caught in hospitals.

The procedure, known as Fecal Microbiota Transplantation, involves transferring the stool from a suitable donor either through a tube from the nose to the stomach or by a colonoscopy to help replenish the healthy bacteria in the infected colon.

Faecal transplants are increasingly being used in adults with success rates up to 90 per cent, but it is less common with children and Jesse is thought to be one of the youngest to undergo the operation.

Mrs Williams, 28, said Jesse started to improve almost immediately.

She said: 'Within two days, I saw changes. It was unbelievable. Now, he’s a typical two-year-old.'

By Erin B 10/23/2012 03:36:00