Massachusetts Stool Bank Will Pay You $40 A Day For Your Poop
A novel new storage bank in Medford, Mass., is providing a much-needed substance to hospitals: Poo.
OpenBiome, a nonprofit stool bank, is offering volunteers $40 a day for providing stool samples to those in need. Contributors must be between 18 and 50 years old, have a BMI of less than 30 and be able to make “frequent donations” for 60 days, according to OpenBiome — this means at least four days a week for approximately two months.
Why exactly does OpenBiome need fecal matter? As it turns out, fecal microbiota transplantation is very hot right now. The procedure is done to treat infections caused by antibiotics; according to Boston.com, antibiotics that are taken to fight off infections ironically often cause them, as they kill off both good and bad intestinal bacteria. This leaves the gastrointestinal tract open to infection by C. difficile, which causes fever, nausea, abdominal pain and diarrhea, according to Medline Plus. Even after more antibiotics, up to 20 percent of C. difficile infections return, says OpenBiome, and around 14,000 people die from the infection each year.
Fecal transplants solve this problem, however, with healthy bacteria from donor poop resulting in a cure rate of 90 percent.
Think of us as a blood bank, but for poop,” Mark Smith, founder of OpenBiome, told Boston.com.
Thus far, the nonprofit has managed to make sure that fecal samples are available to every city within a 4-hour radius of Medford. This fulfills the needs of independent doctors and hospitals, who, unlike larger hospitals and health providers, usually don’t have their own stool banks. OpenBiome charges $250 per treatment in order to cover the costs of donor screening, sample preparation and more. The samples are shipped on dry ice, and are specially concentrated and packed in two different doses for two different types of treatment, according to the company: 250 mL for the pleasant-sounding lower delivery (which involves a colonoscopy or enema) and 30 mL for upper delivery (nasogastric or nasoduodenal tube — a tube in your nose). Currently, OpenBiome services 122 hospitals in 33 states, according to Boston.com.
So if you live in the Medford area and want to experience the joy of giving while moving your bowels, you’ll have the satisfaction of knowing that your fecal matter may travel all the way across the country in order to be placed in someone else’s colon — and that’s a good feeling.