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Fecal Transplants

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Tanya Boyd is about to have a procedure to treat a potentially deadly bacterial infection.

"When you have this you constantly have to go to the bathroom. So you're afraid to go out to the movies, to the store."

The 49-year-old suffers from an intestinal infection called c-difficile.

The bacteria is highly resistant to antibiotics and hard to treat. So many patients are resorting to an unsual procedure called a fecal transplant.

"Think of stool as the ultimate probiotic," says Dr. Lawrence Brandt of the Montefiore Medical Center.

A sample from a healthy donor - usually a family member -is transferred to the patient during a colonoscopy.

"So you are taking a community of normal bacteria and putting that normal community into the patient."

Many patients pick up c-diff at the hospital after receiving high doses of antibiotics.

Tanya needed two transplants after contracting c-diff during separate hospital stays.

"I was willing to try anything because I was so sick."

The FDA considers fecal transplants research, not treatment and says long-term consequences are not known. But doctors who perform the procedure say 90% of patients are cured within days.

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