Donating Stool to Save Lives: Join the FMT Programme in the UK

Tim Chambers, who is able to play bass guitar in band Skarlett Riot thanks to faecal microbiota transplantation treatment.

Are you ready to make a difference? The faecal microbiota transplantation (FMT) programme at University Hospitals Birmingham (UHB) is calling for new recruits to join their life-changing donation programme.

What is FMT?

FMT is an innovative treatment that utilizes gut bacteria from carefully screened healthy donors to effectively help patients suffering from recurring bowel infections, including clostridioides difficile infection (commonly known as C diff or CDI). CDI can cause severe symptoms such as relentless diarrhea, high fever, excruciating stomach cramps, and, in some cases, even be life-threatening.

Research has shown that FMT is highly effective in treating CDI, with higher cure rates and lower recurrence rates compared to traditional antibiotic treatments.

How Does FMT Work?

The FMT procedure involves transplanting processed stool from a donor into a patient’s stomach or small bowel through a nasogastric tube or PEG site. Alternatively, it can be administered into the colon via a colonoscopy or an enema.

Established in 2017, UHB’s FMT service is in partnership with The University of Birmingham’s Microbiome Treatment Centre (MTC).

A Success Story for Birmingham

Gastroenterologist Professor Tariq Iqbal, from the University of Birmingham and UHB, speaks highly of the FMT service in Birmingham. He emphasizes that the MTC’s unique approach in the UK has significantly improved the quality of life for countless patients suffering from severe bowel infections. Antibiotics have often failed these patients, and without FMT, their lives could be in grave danger.

“We urgently need volunteers to register as stool donors,” Professor Iqbal states, recognizing the continued demand for this life-saving procedure.

Become a Stool Donor

To be eligible as a stool donor, individuals must be aged between 18 and 50, non-smokers, and have no history of long-term illnesses. In appreciation for their contribution, each donor will receive reimbursement of up to £100 per donation period.

If you are interested in becoming a donor or would like more information about the donor recruitment and screening programme, please contact the MTC at [email protected].

Tim’s Story

Meet Tim Chambers, a 29-year-old musician from Rugeley, Staffordshire. Tim battled with ulcerative colitis, causing chronic inflammation in his bowel, from the age of 18. Although well-managed for several years, his life took a downturn when he contracted a clostridium difficile infection last summer.

“The infection was debilitating. I suffered from horrible stomach cramps, constant diarrhea, and always had to be near a toilet,” Tim recalls. Traditional antibiotic treatments failed to alleviate his symptoms, leaving him desperate for a solution.

Fortunately, Tim was introduced to the FMT service. “FMT cleared the C diff infection, and I haven’t tested positive since,” he says, relieved. The procedure, which involved a quick and simple insertion of a nasogastric (NG) tube through the nose, opened his eyes to the possibilities of FMT.

“The C diff infection was truly nasty and debilitating. It made me feel helpless. I couldn’t work, perform at gigs, or even socialize with friends,” Tim confesses. However, the supportive medical team at Queen Elizabeth Hospital Birmingham provided him with exceptional care throughout the process.

“I was kept informed every step of the way, and the doctors and nurses went above and beyond to ensure my well-being,” Tim adds, grateful for his positive experience.

Donating stool may not be something you’ve considered before, but it’s a valuable opportunity to save lives and improve the quality of life for those who are suffering. Join the FMT programme today and make a difference!