Perth donors urgently needed as poo donations wiped out by COVID
Australian Red Cross Lifeblood urgently needs 2,400 Perth residents to sign up to donate their poo for its microbiome program, as COVID and the cold and flu season wipes out existing donors.
Currently just a handful of microbiota donors remain, with 85 percent of existing donors no longer able to give.
To be eligible, donors must not have had COVID, must be aged between 18 and 50, and be able to regularly donate at the Microbiota Donor Centre in Perth CBD.
Perth A/Microbiome Manager Silvana Miney said every donation is processed into life-saving faecal microbiota for transplant (FMT) treatments used to treat patients suffering life-threatening infections like Clostridioides difficile.
“FMT is made by collecting stool from a healthy donor, testing and processing it, then supplying it to hospitals to transplant to patients,” Ms Miney said.
“It might seem like an unusual request, but there are more than a trillion life-saving microorganisms in your gut.
“Your healthy microbiota, something that normally gets flushed away, could be used to make FMT that can transform and even saves lives.”
Ms Miney encouraged people to cast away the stigma and donate their poo.
“Just one in 100 people who enquire will be eligible to donate, so we need as many people as possible to sign-up,” she said.
“Saving lives really takes guts and you or someone you know could help ensure this life-changing product continues to be available.”
In the future, Lifeblood also plans to supply FMT for use in research programs to treat other conditions such as ulcerative colitis, Crohn’s disease, major depressive disorders and in response to adverse events resultant from chemotherapy.